The ET Journal Winter Issue 2022

Page 1

The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia

Featured in this Issue Cover Story Leveraging Student Protagonism: A New Model for Inclusive Prosperity Global Citizenship The Future of the World is in Our Classrooms DEIJ Let Kids Play: A Case for Transgender Athlete Inclusion in International Schools



The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA, with a regional office in Manila, Philippines. Membership in EARCOS is open to elementary and secondary schools in East Asia which offer an educational program using English as the primary language of instruction, and to other organizations, institutions, and individuals. OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES * To promote intercultural understanding and international friendship through the activities of member schools. * To broaden the dimensions of education of all schools involved in the Council in the interest of a total program of education. * To advance the professional growth and welfare of individuals belonging to the educational staff of member schools. * To facilitate communication and cooperative action between and among all associated schools. * To cooperate with other organizations and individuals pursuing the same objectives as the Council. EARCOS BOARD OF TRUSTEES Andrew Davies, President (International School Bangkok) Stephen Cathers, Vice President (International School Suva) David Toze, Treasurer (International School Manila) Margaret Alvarez, Past President, Director Emeritus (ISS International School) Saburo Kagei (St. Mary’s International School) Barry Sutherland (American International School Vietnam) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Kevin Baker (American International School Guangzhou) Elsa H. Donohue (Vientiane International School) Catriona Moran (Saigon South International School) Lawrence A. Hobdell (ex officio), Office of Overseas Schools REO EARCOS STAFF Edward E. Greene, Executive Director Bill Oldread, Assistant Director Kristine De Castro, Assistant to the Executive Director Elaine Repatacodo, ELC Program Coordinator Giselle Sison, ETC Program Coordinator Ver Castro, Membership & I.T. Coordinator Webmaster, Professional Learning Weekend, Sponsorship & Advertising Coordinator Robert Sonny Viray, Accountant RJ Macalalad, Accounting Assistant Rod Catubig Jr., Office Staff East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, 4024 Philippines Phone: +63 (02) 8779-5147 Mobile: +63 928 507 4876

In this Issue 2



EARCOS Announcements

Message from the Executive Director




Cover Story


Global Citizenship


The Future of the World is in Our Classrooms by Aaron Moniz


Inter-Disciplinary Instruction



Professional Development






Leveraging Student Protagonism: A New Model for Inclusive Prosperity by Jennifer Klein

Crossing the corridor – Multidisciplinary Teaching by Carmel Kilpin

Embracing a New Model of Teacher-Led Professional Development by Nick Cross & Alma Aliaj


Taking Learning Out of Isolation by Rob Carmichel

Green & Sustainable

International School Manila: Our (online) Eco Schools Journey by Isaac Yu-Hong Hsiao, Henry Edelman, Lara Marie Go, and Lindsay Rodgers

Book Review

The Housekeeper and the Professor (by Yoko Ogawa) by Carol Lai

Press Release

UNIS Hanoi English Teacher Writes Best Seller! by Akofa Wallace It’s an Inclusion Revolution and We’re All In by Lori Boll


Community Service

Developing Self-regulating Learners through a Systematic Formative Feedback Process by Alison Ya-Wen Yang & Rhys Tyers


Service Learning

Early Childhood


Remembering Connie Buford


Middle School Art Gallery

Action Research

Concordia Elementary Innovates During Home Learning by Emily Turner-Williams & Louise Graham

Human Resources

A Reminder of Ethical Hiring Practices by Tom Ulmet & Steve Moody


Are student needs met as the international school market changes? by Sam Fraser


Let Kids Play: A Case for Transgender Athlete Inclusion in International Schools by Emily Meadows, PhD

Students and Educators Advocate for Women Despite Challenges in Afghanistan by Jennifer Henbest de Calvillo & Tomoka Matsushima

Year 9 MYP 4 Design Camp by Tanya Legaz

Contribute to the ET Journal

If you have something going on at your school in any of the following categories that you would like to see highlighted in the Spring issue please send it along to us: Faces of EARCOS - Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Campus Development - New building plans, under construction, just completed projects. Curriculum - New and exciting curriculum adoptions. Green and Sustainable - Related to campus development or to curriculum efforts. Student Art - We showcase outstanding student art in each edition. (E.S. Fall Issue, M.S. Winter Issue, H.S. Spring Issue) Community Service, Service Learning, and Student Writing Press Releases Winter 2022 Issue 1

Message from the Executive Director Welcome to the Winter 2022 issue of ET! This issue offers a rich collection of interesting and challenging ideas from educators across our region—and beyond. Please remember that each of you has an open invitation to join the conversation in upcoming issues. We are eager to share the good things happening in your classrooms and schools. While I was preparing thoughts for this message, I received a terribly sad note about the passing of former East Asia Regional Education Officer, Dr. Connie Buford. Connie Buford was a dear friend and mentor to so many in international education, and especially to people in the EARCOS region. Beyond her intelligence, beyond her rich knowledge about teaching and leadership, it was Connie’s warmth and empathy that endeared her to so many. During these times of extraordinary challenge, we can all benefit from keeping Connie’s thinking in mind. No matter how challenging a situation might have been, she was always, always, always able to find a positive path through. The other morning, her son, Warren, shared a copy of her Distinguished Educator Address, delivered at AAIE in 1997. Within that speech, which she subtitled, Homilies from Connie, she shared a core aspect of her educational philosophy. Change and unpredictability are givens and the successful person will be able to live and even thrive within those concepts. The world our children will confront as adults will require a commitment to and caring for one another, a sensitivity to one another, and understanding to become involved with and in some way responsible for our fellow citizens…. She lived what she believed and all she did and touched reflected that core belief. Connie told great stories, coated in her always disarming Southern accent. Her advice was to maintain a healthy sense of humor and not to take ourselves too seriously. “I urge you to lighten up,” she advised colleagues in her 1997 address. She said that she had learned that “there are very few things actually worth losing sleep over.” One of her favorite quotes (a ditty she called it) about humor and leadership went like this: “A leader without a sense of humor is apt to be like the grass mower at the cem-

etery—he has lots of people under him but no one is paying him any attention.” No one will ever accuse Connie Buford of having lacked a sense of humor or of not being paid attention to. She graced our region as she graced all of international education--for four decades. She frequently quoted (and always embodied) Benjamin Franklin’s observation that “joy is not in things--it is in us.” We will all do well to keep her sense of humor, her warmth, her empathy, her wisdom and her inner joy in front of us as we move through such uncertain times. EARCOS is a happier and more resilient region because Connie Buford gave so much of herself to so many people and schools across the region. She will be forever appreciated, remembered and missed.

Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. EARCOS Executive Director

2 EARCOS Triannual Journal

EARCOS Announcements To our membership and friends, We had expected to offer a combined Leadership and Teachers’ Conference in Bangkok at the end of this coming March. A recent survey of all of the Heads of our member schools led us to conclude that the March conference was simply no longer a viable option. Largely due to quarantine restrictions that would impede educators from traveling to and from the conference, as well as increasing uncertainties related to the Omicron variant, we had to conclude, sadly, that the March 2022 conference should be postponed. The EARCOS Leadership Conference has been rescheduled for October 27 to October 29, 2022 in Bangkok. The EARCOS Teachers’ Conference has been rescheduled to March 23 to March 25, 2023 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Many of the top-flight presenters who had agreed to attend the March 2022 event have already committed to the rescheduled events. As you plan for the 2022-2023 school year, please save these two conference dates. We are so looking forward to welcoming you. In the meantime, EARCOS will continue to offer a rich array of webinars to our members. Please visit our website for the lineup of planned events for the second half of the school year. These include a new course from Dr. Lee Ann Jung, a four-part seminar on Women in Leadership with Dr. Fran Prolman, workshops on assessment in mathematics with Erma Anderson, leadership and governance presentations, sessions on creating a data-driven culture, with Dr. Shabbi Luthra, and a collection of webinars delivered by teachers and administrators from schools across our region. We wish you continued strength as you work to promote world class teaching and learning in your schools during these challenging times. We are here to support you and your students in the vital work you do each and every day. Please be in touch. With all best wishes for a great start to the New Year from the EARCOS Staff and Board of Trustees,

Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. Executive Director

Welcome New Schools East-West International School Mr. Jeffrey Kane, Head of School

Okinawa Christian School International Mrs. Megan Roe, Head of School

Sekolah Ciputra Mr. Martin Blackburn, Head of School

Tokyo West International School Ms. Yukiko Kawasaki Kristofferson, Headmistress

New Associates Anoogo Co Ltd (Thailand)

Services: Apparel print, sewing, and manufacturing

EduSpark (Singapore)

Services: Professional Learning/CPD/Staff Training

Instructure (Australia)

Services: Education Technology Software

Metanoia – Sustainability in Schools (Hong Kong SAR) Services: School Sustainabilty Consultancy

Savvas Learning Company (USA)

Services: K-12 Education Publishing company

New Individual Members Brendan O’Flaherty, Executive Principal Myanmar International School Carole Denny, Director and Founder, Independent Consultant Quality Schools Independent Consultancy

Winter 2022 Issue 3


Leveraging Student Protagonism: A New Model for Inclusive Prosperity By Jennifer D. Klein Author, Speaker, Facilitator & Coach CEO, Author, The Global Education Guidebook

4 EARCOS Triannual Journal

In most schools around the world, education looks like a racetrack. Students enter their grade level at the beginning of the year, on the assumption of a common starting place for all students of the same age, and they finish the year having achieved the same outcomes—theoretically at least. But the reality is far from this, and every educator I know is keenly aware of the dissonance between how we traditionally organize our students and the incredibly varied skills and experiences they bring into the schoolhouse each year. Students enter our classrooms at many points in their cognitive, social, and emotional development, regardless of shared age.These differences are all the more apparent and challenging today because of the myriad ways the COVID pandemic has impacted learning around the world. The factors that influence students’ starting points are many, and there are just as many factors that influence whether students reach the same finish line. Sadly, the racetrack mentality, like the factory line model, leaves some students perpetually behind the pack, keenly aware of their deficits at every moment, while others are perpetually held back from what they might accomplish if allowed to fly. When Kapono Ciotti and I started working on the ideas that became our forthcoming book, The Landscape Model of Learning: Designing Student-Centered Experiences for Cognitive and Cultural Inclusion, our questions were many. Why do we generally prioritize access for all students when that’s such a low standard to shoot for? What might change if we envision student learning as taking place across a landscape, based on where students actually are when they walk into our classrooms? What might it look like to really honor students’ life experiences, cultures, opportunities and gaps, to really know who they are and where they stand on the landscape, as well as where they want to go, so that we can ensure every student reaches their own highest level of success possible? And what would need to change in the classroom and schoolhouse to allow such high levels of “inclusive prosperity” to occur? Inclusive prosperity, a term which comes from the world of financial investment, suggests that all participants in a given experience or community should prosper as individuals, but it also suggests that this is good for the collective as much as the individual, and that prosperity for all should be the goal of every group. Schools where all students thrive, are places where all students find authentic, relevant ways to challenge themselves, but also know they have a system of support they can count on that includes people who know them deeply, understand the gifts they bring to the community, and are prepared to support learning needs as they arise. With this in mind, Kapono and I developed what we’re calling the Landscape Model. The model is comprised of three elements we believe are essential to reaching the highest level of success possible for each child, all of which hinge on student protagonism—that is, they are not elements done by teachers to students, so much as elements we empower students to own and communicate and develop in collaboration with educators, even at the earliest ages. The three elements of the Landscape Model are The Ecosystem, The Horizon, and the Pathway.

The Ecosystem The first element of the Landscape Model is The Ecosystem, in which educators work to understand who students are and where each child’s “starting point” really is. Rather than assuming all students will start in the same place and end with exactly the same skills and knowledge,The Ecosystem strategies allow educators to understand where each student is in their learning and growth, recognizing that differences aren’t just about cognitive ability; after all, the child who comes to school without breakfast may be quite advanced but unable to demonstrate it consistently. As a result, we invite educators to see learners as positioned across a landscape, at different points in their learning and development for myriad reasons, including factors connected to cognitive abilities, culture, race, socioeconomics, gender, quality of previous educational experiences, and access to foundational building blocks such as preschool or after-school enrichment experiences. The work involved in understanding who students are and where they are positioned on the landscape requires recognition and deconstruction of implicit bias, which can lower teachers’ expectations and, by extension, limit students’ opportunities for challenge and growth. The goal is not that teachers track students on the basis of what they know about them, but that we come to the learning being realistic about students’ identities, talents, and opportunities for growth. Doing so can help us ensure that we challenge each student appropriately, and that we do so in ways that honor who they are. The Ecosystem requires we involve families, even community leaders when culture plays a core role, so that we come to our work with students with a deep, complete sense of who students are and where we might go with their learning. It requires that we frame students as central protagonists of their own learning journeys, which means they have the inherent power to understand themselves and shape their own futures. When educators move away from deficit mentalities and implicit biases that focus most on what students are missing, and can focus an asset lens on the strengths, skills and growth experiences students bring to their learning, the more easily we can challenge all students appropriately. Rather than erasing their differences for the sake of standardization, the element of The Ecosystem asks us to celebrate students in all their varied uniqueness, and to see them as central protagonists in their education, empowered by their talents and capacity to grow, not as victims of their circumstances. The Horizon The second element of the Landscape Model is The Horizon, in which educators and students work together to set goals and establish appropriate outcomes. Using the metaphor of a constantly receding horizon, such as those found on salt flats across the planet, we focus this element on mastery and the recognition that success is not just one event, summed up by a test at the end of a unit, but rather is the result of a life-long journey of learning and growth. The Horizon is about understanding what an appropriate challenge looks like for each child, and involving that child as consistently and deeply as possible in establishing those goals. But it’s also about recognizing students’ passions, helping them define their aspirations, and creating learning experiences that develop the skills they need to reach those goals. The Horizon hinges on disrupting an important fallacy in education, the idea that “fair” education ensures the standards are exactly the same for all students. Yet we all know that students are incredibly and remarkably varied in their talents, backgrounds, and needs. The child who struggles with reading but is a prodigy on the violin at eight may have a different horizon than the child who is still mastering numeracy but writes like a published author at 15. And their aspirations matter as much as their

talents; if the budding writer wants to be an author, his struggles with algebra will matter less than if he wants to pursue engineering. The Horizon also invites us to rethink what we mean by success to begin with, and to recognize how colonization has narrowed our scope of what we consider “success” around the globe. A child who chooses to stay in their community, to help make it better through direct action projects and non-profit work, is no less successful than the child who moves thousands of miles away to earn multiple degrees or run a corporation. No human can be good at everything, and no career asks that of us as adults, yet education constantly suggests that “success” needs to look the same for all students. Instead, the Landscape Model invites us to work toward what author and educational thought leader Yong Zhao calls a “jagged profile,” in which we worry less about standardization and more about how to support each child’s growth, both in areas of strength and areas needing attention. The Horizon invites teachers to notice and deconstruct any tendency to limit students’ aspirations based on educators’ own perceptions. When a teacher engages a student without deconstructing their own implicit biases, they can easily limit that student’s potential, however unintentionally. However, when students are involved in determining their own goals, and the work required to reach them, they become protagonists of their own learning, which increases their motivation and ability to articulate growth—and the likelihood that they’ll reach their goals. Whenever possible, defining The Horizon should also include the student’s family and even community elders, to make sure that the aspirations of the family and child come first. While the educator can often expand a family’s thinking about their child’s potential, an educator who is not from the same community as the student can easily establish goals that do not fit the aspirations of the student or their family. In the worst of cases, a teacher who underestimates a child’s potential, for whatever reasons, can easily turn an empowering education into one that limits and paralyzes. The Pathway The third element of the Landscape Model is The Pathway, in which students and teachers work collaboratively to establish the best avenues for learning, in order to reach the horizon we’ve identified together. We invite educators to work with students, to leverage their strengths and improve on their areas of weakness, always with a focus on an appropriate level of challenge for all students—and on crafting the journey together. The Pathway looks a bit like differentiation, and a bit like personalized learning, but in the best of cases should be a process of student protagonism. In both differentiation and personalized learning, the teacher generally holds the power to determine what needs to be worked on, based on a standardized curriculum all members of the school must fulfill. On the landscape, however, the student holds the power, being the principal actor in their own play. Even if the goals are standardized or we create only a handful of pathways for a large group of students, allowing students to map their own pathways toward those goals will ensure they are motivated, empowered, and successful. Managing all of those differences in a student-centered environment isn’t easy, particularly in larger schools. This is where student protagonism becomes most key: the goal is for students to be able to articulate their learning accomplishments and needs. By passing the work of documentation and progress tracking to students, we believe that the learning and assessment process will not only become more meaningful for students, but will become more manageable for teachers—even in the biggest schools. While student-centered documentation will look different for five-year-olds than for our high school seniors, all age groups are capable of communicating their learning and growth when educated Winter 2022 Issue 5

through pedagogies that support their autonomy and protagonism. Whether schools work with Project-Based Learning, Design Thinking, or other inquiry-based, student-centered structures, the Landscape Model requires that we build systems that allow for multiple pathways while still assuring some level of standardization of outcomes, depending on the expectations of your community. Ultimately, the model also invites us to consider reorganizing students and courses, so that students and teachers can make more choices based on actual needs and aspirations, not simply groupings based on age.

About the Author A product of experiential project-based education herself, Jennifer D. Klein taught college and high school English and Spanish for nineteen years, including five years in Central America and eleven years in all-girls education. In 2010, Jennifer left teaching to begin Principled Learning Strategies, which provides professional development to support authentic student-driven global learning experiences in schools. [read more]

The authors believe that the Landscape Model will help educators ensure a much higher level of cognitive and cultural inclusion for all students, and will be able to do so in ways that truly honor who students are, not just how good they are at school. In our forthcoming book, we offer the principles the model builds on, explore the potential challenges in different educational contexts, and offer concrete strategies for implementation. We have designed the model with an international mindset, recognizing that the challenges of inclusivity vary in different cultures and types of schools. Ultimately, we aspire to provide educational leaders and teachers with a new vision for what education can become if we trust students as protagonists, and a model for how that might be done in schools across the world.

Accredited. College-Prep. Online.

Courses Online That Fit Any Schedule & Time Zone • U.S. diploma • Accredited, college-preparatory program • 100+ core, elective, AP®, dual enrollment & NCAA-approved courses • Open enrollment • Self-paced, independent study • Responsive staff (402) 472-3388 SCAN

to learn more The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based upon any protected status. Please see AP® is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, the University of Nebraska High School.

6 EARCOS Triannual Journal


Field trip to an organic farm

See where ISS can take you and your school Whether starting and operating international schools, recruiting educators and leaders, sourcing school supplies, providing professional learning opportunities, administering school foundations, or encouraging more diverse leadership in international schools, International Schools Services (ISS) provides the full range of services necessary for your school to deliver an outstanding global education.

Learn more at View upcoming job fairs and PD opportunities at #ISSedu

Being educators in international schools, it is common to come across schools that have mission and vision statements aspiring to develop global citizens that take action for the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants. It is equally as common to see schools that do not yet have an articulated approach for how this mission frames teaching and learning for all school stakeholders or evidence collection protocols that determine whether or not the approaches in practice are creating this aspirational portrait of a global citizen. It was precisely this widespread need within our international school communities that incited the approaches foundational to and the existence of Inspire Citizens.


The Future of the World is in Our Classrooms By Aaron Moniz Inspire Citizens Co-Founder Student Leadership Co-Director

Inspire Citizens is a social enterprise that provides educational consulting to schools so that schools can articulate whole-school approaches and become centers for community impact, service, sustainability, social justice, well-being, and future thinking. Inspire Citizens has set out to optimize existing schoolwide systems as a means of developing global citizens that can take action in our local and global communities now. Students will develop skills throughout their educational journey preparing them to enter their desired professions ready to make decisions that will ensure a more sustainable and harmonious future. It is with this central focus that Inspire Citizens develops K-12 partnerships with schools around the world, and works with all stakeholders to fully live their missions of developing globally competent learners with the skills to take action in their communities. It is also with this central focus that Inspire Citizens extends a call to collaboration to all international schools and respective school boards, administrators, educators, and parents, to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 4.7, to lead the charge in creating approaches to sustainable development and global citizenship in our schools, and empower professional learning communities to share proof of concept and use schools as places for widespread impact.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal - Target 4.7

8 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Thus the inevitable question ensues, “How do we as international schools manageably commit to this kind of work, while still focusing on academic excellence?” Inspire Citizens has designed, and continues to develop, approaches that support international schools in this process. The first of which is the Global Impact Schools Self Study.

ing process that can be applied to any curricular approach, in any subject area, across all grade levels of a school. The Empathy to Impact Approach begins with linking learning to a greater why (sustainable development goals, social justice standards, harmony with nature, etc.) and focuses the inquiry process on developing empathy before and subsequently throughout inquiry and investigation. This approach then equips teachers with a plethora of strategies to become more authentically aware of how identified issues manifest themselves in the community, while promoting the development of necessary knowledge, skills, and understandings. Practitioners and students then apply their content understandings, skills, standards, criterion, ATLs, and Student Learner Outcomes to be ‘Able’ to have an impact in their community. Conclusively, this approach ends in helping practitioners, independent inquirers, or student actors to identify what kind of action or service is appropriate for which targeted community in order to achieve maximum impact on their identified ‘why’ and transfer and apply their learning to take sustainable civic action. Over 50 of our international school partners have engaged in Empathy to Impact curriculum design including leaders like Concordia International School Shanghai, Western Academy Beijing, the International School of Prague, American Embassy School in Delhi, and many more.

Inspire Citizens Global Impact Schools Self-Study, 2020. This self-study tool consists of 10 pathways and supporting criteria that help schools to articulate missions and visions, and develop common vocabulary and approaches centered on global citizenship education. Once this articulation and visioning have been completed, the self-study provides ideas for stakeholders to design professional learning systems and develop internal capacity within the school so that these capacity builders and internal systems give rise to a schoolwide scope and sequence of curricular approaches directly linked to the school’s desired impacts and their articulated mission. The self-study tool continues to explore how student-facing programs like student leadership, student media programs, and other student clubs are being supported to embed this same articulated mission-centered approach. Finally this selfstudy tool then examines opportunities for school operations, school wellness programs, and school partnerships to integrate into school programs aimed at the mission of developing global citizens. Although the Global Impact Schools Self Study is a comprehensive document in itself, some school partners choose to engage with only certain criteria or pathways that are directly linked to immediate strategic initiatives or accreditation recommendations, or schools engage with Inspire Citizens on specific pathways based on current school readiness. Regardless of the tool’s use, the Global Impact Schools Self-Study is an effective way for schools to help to look within and optimize existing systems to develop the portrait of a globally competent learner. Seoul Foreign School has been an exemplary partner since 2018. The Inspire Citizens’ Empathy to Impact Approach is used to design or adapt the curriculum to ensure impactful action for sustainability, justice, or community well-being. This approach frames teaching and learning through the Care- Aware- Able- Impact process; ostensibly an inquiry process, service-learning process, action enhancing, project-based learn-

Inspire Citizens Empathy to Impact Approach While Inspire Citizens’ pedagogical and systemic approaches often focus on work with adult stakeholders, as prior international teachers, Inspire Citizens staff jump at any opportunity to co-teach, model teach, launch projects, and work with students in the classroom to support effective implementation. Another significant finding amidst international schools is that students are given leadership roles across the school through their student councils, service clubs, ambassador programs, and other student leadership programs, but infrequently do schools develop these leaders with best practice skills and approaches in leadership. Inspire Citizens works with schools to either conduct student leadership workshops, design student leadership programs with students tailored to their identified needs, or help design platforms and skills development programs that live within schools to sustain growth in student leadership over time. Innovative work in this field continues with Frankfurt International School, Western Academy Beijing, Seoul Foreign School, The International School of Bangkok, the International School of Prague, and Dulwich College Shanghai.

Winter 2022 Issue 9


THE RICHARD KRAJCZAR HUMANITARIAN AWARD This annual award is given in recognition of EARCOS’ longest serving Executive Director, Dr. Richard T. Krajczar. Inspire Citizens and the International School of Prague developing the ‘ISP Changemakers’ Student Leadership Program If our schools’ leadership programs are a way that we develop global citizens, do we equip students with the skills that they require to lead from empathy, and do we leverage the power of our leadership programs with the same vocabulary and common approaches articulated from our mission and visions? Optimizing existing systems for greater impact is how schools can manageably and sustainably center their teaching and learning experiences on creating global citizens. Visiting the Inspire Citizens website will provide readers with vignettes from past schools, examples of students’ digital advocacy campaigns, access to the Global Impact Schools Self Study, access to the Inspire Citizens Master Teacher Endorsement online courses, access to the Empathy to Impact Podcast, and many other helpful resources for learning leaders to transform their classrooms and schools into places of community impact now.

citizens’ to action. If we think about the physical, human, and intellectual resources that we have as international schools, if we think about the number of people involved in our institutions and communities, and we ask ourselves, what if we were all able to optimize our systems to be focused on community action for sustainability, equity and inclusion, futures thinking, and community well-being, the potential impact in itself is enough to ‘inspire

Inspire Citizens extends our hands and hearts to all communities that wish to collaborate and empower learners to become the global citizens that our communities and our world so desperately need. About the Author Aaron Moniz is the co-founder of Inspire Citizens, co-director of Student Leadership, Global Impact Schools Action Research Director, Inspire Citizens Master Teacher Endorsement Facilitator, PBL, Learning Support, and EAL Teacher and Specialist.

Caring for others was not just Dr. K’s passion but his raison d’être. His support of those who provided sustenance and care for the less fortunate was among his most endearing traits. To that end, the EARCOS Board of Trustees has established the Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award to recognize, each year, the work of one notfor-profit organization with a proven record of philanthropy in the East Asia/Pacific Region. APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 15, 2022

Selection Criteria

1. No later than May 1, candidate organizations will submit an application to the Dr. Edward E. Greene, Executive Director of EARCOS ( and the Review Committee. The application will provide: a. A description and history of the organization’s focus and initiatives b. A narrative detailing the impact of the organization’s efforts to date c. Photographs and brief testimonials related to the organization’s work d. An assessment of the need for additional support and what that support is expected to provide e. Information about the working relationship, if any, between the organization and a Service Club of one or more of the EARCOS member schools. f. Current sources and levels of funding and an explanation of how the funds, if awarded, would be used g. A copy of the organization’s charter or Articles of Association 2. The Award Committee will include: a. The Executive Director of EARCOS b. The Treasurer of the EARCOS Board of Trustees c. A second member of the EARCOS Board of Trustees d. The Community Service Coordinator of an EARCOS member school e. A member of the Krajczar family By June 15, 2022 the committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees whose decision will be final. Visit

10 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Dynamic Learning Presented in Real Time!

– School Principal

Online Workshops for Educators Learn evidence-based programs to improve reading, comprehension, and math. Address learning loss for your students. Engage with fellow professionals and participate in interactive sessions—all from the convenience of your preferred location.

Live Online Highly interactive

Appropriate for all types of education professionals, administrators, and private specialists.


Crossing the corridor – Multidisciplinary Teaching By Carmel Kilpin Department Head of Science International Christian School, Hong Kong

Plant tissue culturing is possible within the HS laboratory. We used a pressure cooker to help sterilize the agar plants and plant growing tubes. Can we manipulate plant germination to mitigate the effects of global change ? A question discussed in our AP Environmental Science class.

Conversations and collaboration are important in teaching. Most educators would agree with that, but it was especially highlighted during Covid when I started the period working from home, but voluntarily moved back to working at school because being in community met these needs. Previously, I had focused more on collaboration and conversation within my department of science. What I learned from the Covid period was how much I could learn from another discipline, simply by crossing the corridor. For some time teachers in the English and Science departments had been talking about combining our efforts to make our AP Research course more appealing to students who wanted to tackle science-based topics. In the end, all it took was short conversations in the morning where I was able to draw on my knowledge of plant tissue culture and growing mediums to advise my AP Research student, in conjunction with research skills taught by my colleague.

Popular and available nutrient mediums : MS (Murashige & Skoog ), LS (Linsmaier and Skoog), NN ( Nitsch & Nitsch ), Purchased from

The resulting research in a scientific field submitted by the student was hugely innovative. It blended two core ideas from our AP Environmental Science program: Plant propagation and food sustainability issues across developing countries. Our student had the opportunity to use our vernier probes, and the freedom to design, fail, revise and make changes to her data collection. She also learned how to interact with our lab technicians and refine instructions. It was a risk using live tissue samples and learning how to propagate them in a high school laboratory but we learned a lot about aseptic technique and ordering nutrient mediums off the internet. I’ve since modified this particular student’s report to a much shorter version to give my students an experience of plant tissue culturing. From those conversations with colleagues in a different department, and my involvement in the AP Research collaboration, I’ve discovered a new passion for creating learning experiences in Science classes to encourage students to tackle real-world problems and I’m challenged to revisit essential research skills. I’ve even had a rethink about how I can actively design instructional time in the classroom around research skills. As educators, we should take time to learn from our colleagues in other disciplines. It creates learning opportunities for our students and it encourages them to seek answers from a wide range of experts in their fields. I’m hopeful that our students will not only leave our school with fresh ideas about how they can solve many of our world’s problems but that they will be able to synthesize and communicate that information clearly. 12 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Collaboration is the key as a driver for innovation when it comes to student learning. About the Author Carmel Kilpin is the Department Head of Science at the International Christian School, Hong Kong. She can be contacted at

For educators, lifelong learning and development are key to growth and to improving their craft. Just as students must continually strive to learn, grow, and practice new skills, so must teachers. Indeed, the IB Philosophy, which M’KIS celebrates, looks to encourage lifelong learning in all its stakeholders - not just students!


Embracing a New Model of TeacherLed Professional Development By Nick Cross and Alma Aliaj PD Working Group Chair and Head of Communications Mont’ Kiara International School (M’KIS) and

With the pandemic still affecting travel, in-person gatherings and training opportunities, teachers across the world have had to get creative with how they approach their own learning and development. To answer this dilemma, the M’KIS Professional Development (PD) Working Group was born. Made up of 12 faculty members, the group’s main aim is to build on the teaching expertise within our school and to encourage collaboration that strengthens the M’KIS teaching community. Additionally, the aim is to employ a democratic approach to PD, where staff let the PD Working Group know exactly what they want their PD on. In order to achieve these aims, the PD Working Group built on a system of teacher-led workshops that were already in place in the High School from the previous academic year. Building on this, before the summer break, the PD Working Group conducted a survey and found that overwhelmingly, staff wanted more training in technology and digital tools. Given the pandemic and the move to online learning, the group agreed that exposing staff to the wealth of Google Suite tools would be an ideal place to start. Arriving for the start of the school year in August, the first task was to outline the skills staff were most interested in developing, and finding the right teachers to step in as trainers to provide the workshops. Based on staff feedback, the PD Working Group decided to offer Google Suite training school-wide for teachers, Admin Support Staff as well as Elementary School Teaching Assistants. All in all, it would mean providing PD to approximately 100 staff members at M’KIS, which is no easy feat. Most importantly, however, was the PD Working Group’s determination that the IB Philosophy was championed. Treating all staff in the M’KIS Community as lifelong learners is hugely important as is the importance of intercultural awareness - that the community can learn from all our stakeholders. As such, we not only provide workshops for all our stakeholders, but we also ensure that those leading workshops are representative of our international community. With the feedback from staff on the Google PD provision and despite a busy season of preparing to welcome students back to another year of schooling online, many teachers expressed a willingness to host workshops and take a more active role in providing training to their colleagues. Given how busy the M’KIS staff were at this time, the desire of faculty to work with and upskill their colleagues was positive and inspiring. More promising was that both veteran and new staff were eager to contribute, as well as staff from

14 EARCOS Triannual Journal

With the first of workshops now behind them, many staff members have commented on just how helpful the training has been. Not only do staff encourage the PD Working Group to continue developing the PD programme, but they also give advice on how to improve the provision. In fact, the feedback obtained from colleagues on each subsequent iteration of the workshop has supported workshop hosts in fine-tuning the workshop content and style thus creating a strong alignment with the needs of the target audience. Furthermore, educators, using their new skills have been able to make immediate changes to their teaching practice. Equally important, the positive energy created from attending this kind of teacher-driven PD is a boon to our staff and learning community-staff now actively volunteer to host workshops on the Google Suite that they are still learning about themselves. This positivity and attitude not only promotes teamwork and collaboration, but it also builds trust among colleagues, and strengthens teacher leadership and empowerment. As continuous learning, another pillar of the IB philosophy occurs, teachers become more confident in their skills and more reflective in their teaching practice, all of which directly contribute to student learning and well-being.

elementary, middle and high school. With 10 workshop hosts, the challenge was then to get 100 staff members into the right workshops. To foster a truly democratic approach, participants were polled again to gauge their interest in the various training options. Staff were excited to provide their feedback and became even more engaged in the process as the plan for a teacher-led process took shape. Indeed, while organising the programme has been stressful, getting to work with colleagues who are so positive in sharing their expertise truly does allow for a collaborative teaching community to blossom. Led by Nick Cross and supported by the MSHS Principal, Alan Shanks, the success of these teacher-led workshops rested on colleagues volunteering to give up their time to support their peers’ up-skill. To cement the transition to schoolwide PD, a regular system, where PD would be given on a monthly basis allowed the PD Working group to accommodate staff desires to have a continual programme of workshops that allowed them to not only build on previous learning but also give them the opportunity to try new strategies out in class. Central to both achieving these aims and providing schoolwide PD is, as before, the collaborative and positive attitude that staff has, whereby they want to support their colleagues and share what knowledge and skills they have.

As the M’KIS Professional Development Working Group looks to the future and develops additional workshops for their colleagues, we are excited to see how this initiative continues to support teacher growth and contribute to a spirit of whole-school development. Indeed, with the Google Suite workshops coming to a close in December, the next set of workshops from January to June 2022 will be on the IB Philosophy and Pedagogy. It will certainly be rewarding not only for the PD Working Group organising them, but also the staff who will be participating. More importantly, the learners will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the drive for teacher-led PD. About the Authors Nick Cross and Alma Aliaj are Pprofessional Development(PD) Working Group Chair and Head of Communications at Mont’ Kiara International School(M’KIS), they can be contacted at and

Winter 2022 Issue 15


Developing Selfregulating Learners through a Systematic Formative Feedback Process What pedagogical interventions can involve proactive student engagement with formative tasks and feedback for self-regulation? What types of deliberate practice are required to develop assessment capable students? By Alison Ya-Wen Yang, MYP coordinator and Rhys Tyers, Language and Literature Teacher KIS International School,

16 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Context In order to develop self-regulated learners, we know we want to involve students in taking more responsibility for their own learning and become assessment capable. Professor Hattie’s research emphasizes the learners’ engagement with the feedback process and its role in developing assessment-capable learners who are able to regulate their own learning. Hattie notes that developing assessment capable students who know the learning intention for what is being taught can describe where they are in relation to the success criteria and can then use that information to determine the best learning strategies to improve their work and performance is the number one factor for improving student achievement (Hattie, 2009). We reflect on our feedback process with our students as well as the reporting process. KIS reports four times a year. In October and March, progress reports with narrative comments are issued. In December and June semester reports with MYP 1-7 grades are issued.The feedback on the narrative report cards has not always been useful to our students and parents because it was summative rather than formative. Students have not had an opportunity to construct meaning from the feedback to make subsequent improvements as they have moved on to the next unit of learning. Additionally, the language used for narrative reports was usually academic and based on the published MYP assessment criteria descriptors, which made it difficult to decipher. The feedback was inaccessible to some students and parents due to the language barrier. We also observed that students lack strategies and tools to bridge their learning gaps as many of the comments were very general and contained little or no specific strategies to guide students on goal setting and move them forward. Last but not least, teachers spent a substantial amount of time grading summative assessments and providing feedback in order to collect evidence for the October and March report card comments. Students work endlessly to complete many summative assessments from different subjects in a very short period of time. The workload of teachers and students often causes them to burn out and has a negative impact on their well-being. Burnout decreases the self-efficacy of teachers and students and has a negative impact on their emotional health and motivation. Teachers and students are often observed being stressed and exhausted during the narrative report card writing periods. With this in mind, a group of teachers launched the Formative Assessment and Feedback Project in an effort to foster student and teacher self-regulation and well-being. The aim of this action research project is to investigate how implementing a systematized formative assessment and feedback process model can engage students proactively with feedback and simultaneously promote teacher agency.

Theory of action The Theoretical Framework of Interactive Feedback System The aim of this action research project is to investigate how implementing a systematized formative and feedback process model can engage students proactively with feedback and simultaneously promote teacher agency. It is a communication framework that promotes teachers and students being intentional, fostering craftsmanship, and developing collaborative partnerships. Intentionality, craftsmanship, and collaboration are the cornerstones of development. Both teachers and students follow a cyclical process that involves them in inquiry, action, and reflection. The cyclical nature of the process suggests that the implementation of formative assessment and feedback is constructive, encourages ongoing improvement and finally craftsmanship grows. It is a two-part process whereby self-regulated teachers (a) follow the assessment procedures focusing on formative assessment design that enables students to successfully demonstrate their knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding in summative assessment; (b) involve students in goal setting and provide them with targeted feedback; (c) train students to use the Feed Up, Feed Back, and Feed Forward feedback system developed by Hattie (Hattie & Timperley, 2007) to foster students’ self-regulation. The interactive formative feedback model implementation procedure In the interactive formative feedback model, (1) teachers collaborate and design summative assessments that allow students to demonstrate their conceptual understanding, knowledge and skills of the unit. (2) Next, teachers communicate and explain task-specific clarification to students. Exemplars of different achievement levels are provided to help students understand the task requirements and expectations. Teachers can also co-construct task-specific clarification with students. (3) Teachers consider the nature of the summative assessment and assessment objectives, and they design a series of formative assessment tasks that provide opportunities for students to practice knowledge, concepts and skills required for the summative assessment. (4) After teachers communicate the learning targets with students, they interpret the task, refer to task-specific clarification, and set desired learning goals. (5) Students perform the formative task and receive feedback from their teachers. Teachers provide feedback based on the student’s personal learning goal; make their judgement of what students need to improve and then provide tactics (strategies and/or resources) to guide students to regulate their performance. (6) Students construct meaning of the feedback received and clarify with teachers, and use the feedback received to develop actionable steps that can help them to complete the summative assessment with success and confidence. (7) Lastly, students record their learning process and compare the quality of formative and summative work in their learning portfolios.

Methodology One section of 10th graders was selected for the MYP English Language and Literature course for the study. Of the 19 students, nine students were identified for deliberate sampling. The nine students (6 females; 3 males) were aged between 16 and 17. The sample size of the nine students represents a range of multicultural backgrounds. One student in the sample was an English as Additional Language (EAL) learner who did not start to participate in the MYP English Language and Literature subject study until the fourth quarter in MYP Year 4 (Grade 9). She was in the low level performing group. Another student who has received learning support and has been identified with learning challenges was also in the low level performing group. The nine students were identified as low, medium, and high-performing students with three students in each group, respectively based on their previous report card grades and the teacher’s observations. In this study, students were engaged with the unit of work entitled “Effective Messages”, exploring effective communication through speech writing and delivery. The teacher followed the MYP assessment process to evaluate the students’ performance in both speech writing and delivery via the summative assessment. MYP assessment is “criterion-related” and in this assessment process, students’ levels of achievement are determined against previously agreed upon criteria. Task-specific clarification relating to the unit was developed by the teacher based on the published MYP assessment criteria to bring a level of specificity to assessment evaluation, ensure transparency in the process of assessment for the teacher and students, and provide clear and measurable evidence of learning..

Figure 1 The Interactive Formative Feedback Model Implementation Procedure

Winter 2022 Issue 17

Data Collection Both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques were used as research methods. Three 7-point Likert scale questionnaires were developed as the data collection measure to find out learners’ perception of self-regulation and metacognitive awareness. We attempted to analyze how students self-report their actual use of strategies throughout the learning process to complete a formative assessment task in four different domains: Assessment Knowledge; Task; Strategy; Motivation. Questions were categorized for (1) declarative knowledge, (2) procedural knowledge, and (3) conditional knowledge subsumed under knowledge of cognition in each domain (Schraw, 1998; Schraw & Denningson, 1994). We designed different questions in three distinguished phases of the learning process (before, during, and after) because we intended to analyze three kinds of knowledge of cognition under the four domains in three distinguished learning stages. Students were asked to complete the self-regulation questionnaires in three phases, before, during, and after completing the formative assessment task. Qualitative data included semi-structured spoken interviews with the deliberate selected sample of nine students, the sample students’ responses in their feedback forms, the teacher’s feedback to students, the sample students’ summative assessment grades of two speech writing and delivery tasks, and the teacher’s instructional plans, supported by lesson observations from the first author. Discussions The aim of our action research was to investigate the interactions of developing self-regulating learners through a systematic formative feedback process. We designed an Interactive Formative Feedback Model Implementation Procedure to carry out this research following Sadler’s (1989) three key conditions that assessment capable teachers do to cultivate assessment capable students. The three key conditions are (1) The assessment capable teacher communicates standards to students so they understand what constitutes quality work. (2) The assessment capable teacher provides substantive opportunities for students to evaluate the quality of the work they have produced, and helps them develop the metacognitive skills to engage in these practices. (3) The assessment capable teacher provides opportunities for students to modify their own work during its production. Our findings showed that when the same subject criteria consistently was applied to provide students with feedback and assess their performance, it helped students to further identify their strengths and weaknesses in the subject as the same assessment standards and language were used. Teachers were required to create task-specific clarification based on the published MYP assessment criteria to help students understand the language used in the official criteria descriptors and to define specific assessment tasks relating to the unit of work without changing the semantic meaning of the MYP assessment criteria descriptors. Our assumption was that when the task-specific clarification was provided, students could benefit from using the information to monitor their progress and check the quality of their work. Unfortunately, this was not always true. Students found the language used in the task-specific clarification remained unclear and ambiguous. Students rarely used task-specification to monitor and evaluate their progress. Instead, the provision of previous student work samples, guest speakers to deliver speeches, in-class quizzes, and constant opportunities for questions and answers were found most helpful by students. Results showed that providing work samples not only reduced students’ uncertainty of the task, but also enabled them to see how the learned content knowledge and skills were used to demonstrate subject understanding. After seeing examplars, students’ motivation was increased and anxiety was decreased. Students’ beliefs of being able to perform 18 EARCOS Triannual Journal

the task was enhanced as students developed a more complete picture of the end product. They compared their draft to the sample work and identified actions to improve their work. Having an exemplar was particularly helpful to the EAL and low learning ability students and students who lacked confidence in the subject. One suggestion is to include exemplars at various levels in addition to a work sample of excellent quality. This will further reduce cognitive load of students who have lower learning and/or language abilities. When the teacher provided personalized feedback and made connections with their learning goals, students were motivated to improve their work as they felt they were on track to meet their desired goal. Students appreciated it when the teacher provided positive and encouraging feedback on their specific learning performance before offering suggestions for improvement. It enhanced the relationship between the teacher and the student as students felt the teacher got to know them better. The teacher consistently organized his comments under the relevant criteria and also brought a level of feedback specificity which enhanced students’ understanding of the effective and ineffective elements of the work and the assessment standards.This might also be a factor to reduce students’ cognitive load in responding to feedback and completing their task. Personalising intentional feedback has a variety of benefits for student learning. First, it invites the student to consider their work from a new perspective as they are not just being told what to fix, they are given options to enhance their work. Second, it helps students see their work as something that can be improved and refined. They start to see the process of learning and not just the product. Finally, it creates a closer relationship between the teacher and the student. A dialogue is created through the feedback process. Despite the application of the theory-based approach to conduct our action research, there were a couple limitations. First, the teacher who was involved in this research process has substantial experience in teaching and is familiar with the feedback system developed by Hattie. If our proposed interactive formative feedback model were to be implemented by other teachers, professional development should be provided to equip teachers with fundamental philosophies of formative assessment and feedback to increase their feedback capacity. Another limitation we had was our student sample. We work in an established international school and the student population is more homogeneous regarding their performance level and their parents’ socioeconomic status. Additionally, our students enrolled in the MYP programme were familiar with inquiry-based teaching and learning. They have been constantly encouraged to think and reflect. When the teacher provided self-regulatory feedback, even though the low level performing students did not always make sense of the self-regulatory feedback, they still managed to respond although at a superficial level. Conclusion In conclusion, it is essential to engage students to understand how formative tasks lead to summative tasks explicitly to assist students in developing a big picture of their learning and understanding how the feedback they received relates to their assessment objectives and strands. In addition to what is mentioned above, to involve proactive student engagement with formative tasks and feedback for self-regulation, some suggestions include: (1) Involving students in developing the task-specific clarification so that the assessment language is student friendly and age appropriate; (2) Using previous student work samples so that students understand what good quality work looks like and vice versa; (3) Designing prompts to help students identify their strengths and weakness in setting their learning goals before undertaking the task; (4) Providing

guidance to help low level performing students in setting their learning goals and offer specific actions as tactics to make sense of the teacher self-regulatory feedback; (5) Ensuring to read students’ learning goals and providing relevant and personalized comments; (6) Using positive language to let students know what they have done well on for very specific learning performances; (7) Developing a routine and safe environment in which students feel comfortable to clarify their confusion and/or questions with the teacher; (8) Explicitly teaching strategies to develop metacognitive skills and self confidence and create opportunities for individual practice. (9) Teachers need to continue to expand their understanding of formative assessment and feedback and increase their capacity to plan and judge effectiveness of feedback. About the Authors Alison Ya-Wen Yang is the MYP coordinator and Rhys Tyers is a Language and Literature Teacher at KIS International School. They can be contacted at and

References Frey, Nancy, et al. “Developing ‘Assessment Capable’ Learners.” Developing “Assessment Capable” Learners, vol. 75, no. 5, Feb. 2018, pp. 46–51. Hattie, John, and Helen Timperley. “The Power of Feedback.” Review of Educational Research, vol. 77, no. 1, 2007, pp. 81–112., doi:10.3102/003465430298487. Hattie, John. Visible Learning: a Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. Routledge, 2009. Sadler, D. Royce. “Formative Assessment and the Design of Instructional Systems.” Instructional Science, vol. 18, no. 2, 1989, pp. 119–144., doi:10.1007/bf00117714. Schraw, Gregory. “Promoting general metacognitive awareness.” Instructional Science, vol. 26, 1998, pp. 113-125., doi:10.1007/978-94-0172243-8_1 Schraw, Gregory, and Rayne Sperling Dennison. “Assessing Metacognitive Awareness.” Contemporary Educational Psychology, vol. 19, no. 4, 1994, pp. 460–475., doi:10.1006/ceps.1994.1033.

Washington State Washington State University Principal Certification University Principal Certification

International International School Leadership Program School Leadership Program Bringing In-Person Leadership Training Bringing In-Person Training to Leadership You in East Asia to You in East Asia

New cohort begins begins Fall of 2023 2022 New cohort INFO: New cohort begins Fall of 2022


Ed.M. in Educational Leadership (Optional) Ed.M. in Educational Leadership (Optional)

World Class World FaceClass to Face Face to Face Winter 2022 Issue 19


Concordia Elementary Innovates During Home Learning By Emily Turner-Williams and Louise Graham Concordia International School Hanoi

At Concordia Hanoi, we believe that Early Childhood is a time of discovery and joy. As educators, we know the importance and necessity of play in a child’s learning journey. In this current educational climate, we have begun and continued another school year with home learning.There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with peers, but in these circumstances, how can we do our best to cultivate a playful atmosphere and support our youngest online learners to build relationships? Let us share a snapshot of our journey as we seek to answer this question for our students. One of the ways we have been trying to address this question is through the implementation of virtual playgroups. From the second week of school, we have run virtual playgroups. Students are given choices each day for which playgroup they would like to join. The playgroups are planned across the week to include activities from a variety of different types of play. These include but are not limited to dramatic play, imaginative play, sensory play, creative play, exploratory play, music and movement, STEM, Toys, and quiet play. Options also include ‘small conversation groups, where children lead and enjoy conversing with their peers’ and 1:1 sessions with teachers, led by the student. We hope that just as we set up a physical classroom environment to encourage learning in various contexts, our virtual learning space will do the same. We also hope to pique a variety of interests. By giving each playgroup a specific focus, we have found it helps students make connections through shared interests and helps them concentrate, relate, and interact with one another through their play. As teachers, we have found it is beneficial for educators to model how to play, especially during home learning, when being playful on the screen may feel less natural. During the first few weeks of school, our playgroups required a lot of modeling and coaching from educators. It did not come naturally for students to “play” together online. For example, during a restaurant-themed dramatic playgroup, the teacher modeled for students how she was writing a menu. The teacher said to the students, “I will be the waiter. Let me read you my menu.” The teacher showed the menu she had created and read it to the group. “Would someone like to pretend they are the customer and order from my menu?” This interaction helped stimulate ideas for play, eventually leading the students to make their own menus, gather food at home, and take turns role-playing as the waiters, chefs, and customers. Students engaged in authentic writing experiences by adding signs, writing menus, pretending to take food and money through the screen, and engaging in dialogue with their peers. As playgroups progress, students can lead the play with growing independence and initiative. Teachers are there in a more supportive role, helping only when students need prompting or encouragement to enhance or sustain their playful interactions. On one occasion, students lead out many different scenarios and contexts of play during a ‘Hair and Beauty Salon’ playgroup. In an example of creative play, one student traced their hand and used cotton buds to paint the nails. After seeing this, another student was inspired to try the same technique. In an example of social play, a student observed a classmate styling their dolls’ hair:

20 EARCOS Triannual Journal

This interaction demonstrates that friendships are built virtually and that students can communicate positively through play together. It also reflects a sense of positivity and hope that there is a time in the near future where they will be able to play together in person. In one playgroup, students were playing with dolls and babies. A student wrapped themselves in a blanket and pretended to cry on the screen. Another student who had recently had a new sibling born ran from his computer and grabbed some objects from around the home. One by one, he held up different things to the screen to see if one would help his friend, ‘the baby.’ He held up a pacifier, then a bottle, then a diaper to see if something would help soothe. This student made a connection to his own life, recalling that when his baby brother cries, mom or dad presents the baby with these different items to help the baby stop crying. Even online, students can play with one another and engage in deep learning to form connections to the world around them.

“Can I see your hair?” the student asked. They continued, “When I come to your house one day, we can make your doll beautiful together. I will help.” The other student turned the doll around and said, “I do it like this (showing the ponytail).” “Wow, that’s beautiful!” After hearing this, a third student chimed in, “I also like ____’s hairstyle!”

As a school practicing ‘Conscious Discipline,’ we aim to support students in developing their emotional regulation skills, including empathy. During a music and movement playgroup, students engaged in guided play through a musical game. In this game, students brought stuffies, and as students sang a song together, some of the stuffies would remain ‘in’ the game, and others would ‘be out.’ During the game, the teacher held up their stuffie and said, “Hmph! I don’t want to be out.” Another student held up one of their stuffies and said, “Don’t worry. I’m out too. You can try again next time.” This is an example of how students could practice and develop their skill set of empathy through their play, even while online. At Concordia Hanoi, we value parent partnerships, and the feedback we receive from our families is carefully considered and used to adapt our home learning program to meet the needs of our students. In a survey distributed to families about the playgroups, one parent shared, “My child has been able to make connections through talking to other children and seeing the other kids like or have similar toys and interests.” Another family shared that “Playgroups have developed my daughter’s confidence to speak out loud as well as helped with her organizational skills, as she now prepares materials for playgroups independently.” Several parents shared that they have noticed their child’s vocabulary has improved through their participation in playgroups. Furthermore, we were excited to hear from a parent that “My child looks forward to playgroup time. She always asks me on Mondays about all the options for the week, and then she thinks a lot about what she should choose.” While we continue our home learning journey and recognize that it comes with its challenges, we are happy that students are building connections and having the time to be playful with one another, even in a virtual setting. We remain hopeful that students will be playing together in person soon, but we shall continue to promote playfulness in our virtual classrooms until then. About the Authors Emily Turner-Williams and Louise Graham are both Reception Teachers (kindergarten) at Concordia International School Hanoi. They can be contacted at and

Winter 2022 Issue 21


A Reminder of Ethical Hiring Practices By Tom Ulmet, Executive Director and Steve Moody, President The Association of China and Mongolia International Schools(ACAMIS)

This past school year 2020-2021 was filled with many surprises, challenges, and adjustments due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus that is still making passes around the world in one variant or another. Among the challenges were great additional burdens placed on teachers and leaders from school closings, half-day education, shortened school years, rescheduled examinations, online learning, and staff shortages. In addition, teachers faced the unpleasant realization that in many countries travel was restricted, and home leave and school holiday travel was cancelled. In China, which has the strongest and most effective virus prevention system in the world, nearly 4000 returning and newly hired teachers and dependents could not enter China for a good portion of the school year creating great shortages in the classroom. Online learning was conducted across 10-15 hour time zone differences, placing additional strain on teachers who had not yet arrived and had even seen the school but tried to do their job. During the summer another core of teachers routinely departed and needed to be replaced. This year, many schools anticipated the possibility of visa and travel delays again and focused on filling vacant positions from within their host country. The effect was equivalent to cutting a pie to suit the hungriest. Teacher recruitment took on a different dimension with the number of vacancies to fill for departing teachers and teachers who could not obtain visas to take up their jobs. Schools also had to cope with last-minute or mid-year withdrawals and needed to bring others, such as division leaders and HRD, into the recruitment process more than ever before. Sometimes in the major effort to fill the vacancies, shortcuts were taken. In some cases, a teacher under contract approached another school and received an offer without thorough vetting. There were other cases of teachers under contract in one school being approached and offered a position in another school. In other cases, teachers who were legitimately offered a job in another school unwittingly recommended a friend from that school who was still under contract. Naturally, the schools that obtained additional teachers from other schools by whatever means felt a sense of accomplishment with each hiring and enjoyed that piece of the pie. However, the schools that lost teachers when shortcuts were taken in the selection process were left with additional hunger and a bitter taste from what had happened. As a growing regional professional organization, we were asked numerous times this past year what can be done when a teacher under contract tries to break the contract by applying to another school and has been offered a position without that school checking references or contacting the school where the teacher is employed. Even more serious were examples of schools approaching staff under contract at other schools through various means to lure them away. When desperate people do these things they do not see the moral problem, but when they read about them they can imagine the whole scenario and comprehend the issues. As a result of these increasing examples, we decided to share some advice we hope will be helpful. Soon the teacher recruitment process will be in full swing and it is imperative that each teacher’s/each applicant’s school be contacted to check credentials and contract status. Examples of failing to adhere to ethical recruitment norms are rare when teachers are sought through recruitment agencies where the prelimi-

22 EARCOS Triannual Journal

nary vetting is usually quite thorough as they stake their reputations on the thoroughness and reliability of their search process. The problem is increasingly noticeable when schools conduct their own recruitment within their own host country without using a recruitment agency. This is a perfectly reasonable approach to solve a staffing problem, but not without the same safeguards that are usually in place. No matter how desperate we may be to fill a position, any approach to a staff member under contract in another school is inappropriate. This is referred to in polite form as enticement and in the crass reality, it is called “raiding” and can be very damaging to the reputation of a school that does this. This practice is not widespread, but enticement has emerged in multiple cases this year which gives cause to address these issues openly and remind everyone of good ethical practices that have long been established but may be forgotten or perhaps unknown with the passage of time or changes of leadership. If this happens to you, it is best to confront the offending school and bring it to the attention of the head who may not be aware of what is happening in some cases. To complicate the issue, several non-member Heads have ignored it when brought to their attention and continued to act unethically.

With the rapid expansion of private schools around the world, some start-ups find that staffing with international teachers is their greatest challenge and may find the staffing challenge overwhelming and are relieved when they can hire anyone by any means. They may also be pressured by new owners to use any means. If this happens you might try the following: • If you really want to retain the teacher who is under contract, you can threaten to take the case to court. In most cases, this threat will bring about a change of approach with both the employee and the offending school. • You can really take the case to court. (In almost all cases, the courts uphold the contract). However, you may then be stuck with a disgruntled employee to the end of the contract. • If the other school is accredited, you can bring it to the attention of their accreditation agency. • If you are a member of a city-wide organization of international schools, you can bring the specific issue to the next meeting. No doubt someone else there will have experienced the same thing and a group discussion often generates possible solutions.

For many years we have relied on accreditation, recruitment agencies, and other kinds of membership organizations to share ethical guidelines related to hiring, with only a few cases surfacing. However, in the past year of COVID and travel restrictions, there has been more focus on hiring teachers who are already employed in another international school within the same host country who have transferable work and residence permits. The practices below are derived from the original Guide to Ethical Practices produced for many years by The Council of International Schools (CIS) and were once a condition of membership. They have since been incorporated into their Membership Standards and Code of Ethics. Based on what we have experienced this past year, we have expanded somewhat on them. Basic good hiring practices include: 1. A person has a right to visit and to consider employment in a school other than that in which he/she is currently employed without notifying the current employer. This is normal employment exploration. 2. A school has a right to hold preliminary discussions about possible employment with a faculty member/administrator employed in another school without notifying that person’s school as long as no offer is made to commence while that


person is under contract. This may be referred to as a preliminary interview to determine status. It is possible that a local third party was retained to fill staff vacancies (Head Hunters).

If this is the case, the school contracting the third party should be contacted, informed, and warned of possible damage to their reputation. 4.



Contracts should be respected. Teachers applying to start a new position before their current contract expires should not be hired. This is commonly called “breaking contract” and should not be condoned unless through negotiation with the employer. If a teacher has declined an offer of a contract extension and elects to move on, it is reasonable that the school support the teacher and/or also transfer their visa/work permit to another city or province if requested, and even if moving to a school in the same city. Contracts with faculty members/administrators should include a clause in which prospective employees certify that they are not bound by any other employment contract. No Winter 2022 Issue 23



school should attempt to influence a person to break a contract already signed with another school. References should always be checked including a courtesy call to the Head of the school where the teacher is employed to determine if the teacher remains under contract or is in good standing. If an applicant has been in the country for some years, the security checks could have been bypassed. The inviolability of the two-way nature of a contract has eroded somewhat over time with either some employees or employers thinking the contract is mostly relevant to them rather than to both parties. Contracts are legally valid in most countries and violations by either party can be successfully pursued in court at little cost, but usually consistent outcome.

We have also heard of cases where schools have posted vacancies for positions before the departing staff member has been informed either of non-renewal or termination. This is usually a communication problem with HRD, but every staff member whose position will be posted should be informed beforehand. If a teacher indicated they are undecided, the school has the right to cover themself and post the position, but the teacher should be informed that the position will be posted. During these days of complex recruitment, with numerous changes of leadership, pressure to fill positions, and others involved in recruitment, it is easy to be caught up in doing the job without considering the ramifications to the reputation of the school. This can be avoided by doing a few fundament things; • Bring together those central to recruitment to review these points and have a discussion about the ethics of teacher recruitment. Your staff will be proud of the ethical position of their employer. • Ask them to imagine how they would feel if their staff was being offered positions without consultation between schools. Certainly, it would lead to some displeasure as it has in the numerous cases we have heard. • Advise them that with every application, a school leader should be designated to call a school to check the contract

• •

status and references as those seeking employment may misunderstand their circumstances or portray them differently from what they are. If the employee is indeed under contract, walk away. Review these points above with staff at the first opportunity so they are fully aware of the value and two-way importance of the contract. Review your contracts for new hires to be sure it includes a clause in which prospective employees certify that they are not bound by any other employment contract.

These ethical practices will at least prevent or reduce disagreements among the international schools in your host country or those who are members of your regional professional organization as should be the case. Although you may have no control over non-members’ or the behavior of others, they can be influenced by the bad practice they used if you follow up. We wish to stress that most schools handle staffing and recruitment quite professionally under today’s pressures and that these issues are not widespread, but they are appearing with increased frequency. Thus, the points made here are meant to help schools that are affected by the bad practices of others and to alert offending schools that they can do better. About the Authors Tom Ulmet has been Executive Director of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS) since August 2015 and was a Board Member for five years prior to that. He has lived and worked in China since 2001. Steve Moody is President of ACAMIS and has served on the Board since 2016. Steve has lived and worked in China since 1996 and has been the Director at the International School of Tianjin since 2007.

Middle School Art Celebration “Tét” Anh (Berry) Cao Nam Nguyen, Grade 7 American International School Vietnam 24 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“My Personal Belongings” Lê An Nhiên, Grade 8 American International School Vietnam

EdD in Educational Leadership East Carolina University® Department of Educational Leadership

An EdD for practicing educators. Cohort IV begins June 2022. Unique program features include: • Complete an EdD in 3 years, including dissertation • Students use participatory action research in their school communities • Virtual courses with an annual face-toface component in Bangkok (in June each year) • Personal Dissertation Coach supports project design, provides writing support, and visits the student each year

Applications due January 15, 2022 For application links and program information, visit: or contact

Dr. Jim Argent Program Contact (919) 280-3619

“The ECU International EdD was more than just classes and a dissertation. I learned to empower teachers and establish a collaborative process...the end of the dissertation was really the beginning of the journey.” -Cohort I EdD Graduate

Are today’s international schools meeting the learning expectations of their students? This is a question that ISC Research explored in the summer of 2021 with current international school students and alumni.


Are student needs met as the international school market changes? By Sam Fraser, Research Director ISC Research

The K-12 international schools market has evolved considerably from its original premise. Most of the first schools considered ‘international’ were established to meet the exclusive needs of Western expatriates and, although their location provided an international context for the students, in almost every other way they reflected the nationality of the founders. This included curriculum, school ethos and staff. As this model has changed to one in which many international schools now promote themselves as offering an international education accessible to all children, so the expectations of students have changed too. This transformation in the market and the expectations of today’s international school students formed the basis for research conducted by ISC Research last summer which was published in a free report in November. Why the market has shifted The International School Student Profile Report provides valuable insight into the market, how it has changed, and what this means for students and educators. In the year 2000, ISC Research listed 2,584 international schools worldwide that were teaching approximately 988,000 students. Although predominantly a provision for expatriates at that time, our research was indicating that an increasing number of international school places were being taken by local children and those who do not associate with any single nationality or culture; often known as ‘third culture kids’. The report explains that, as more international schools opened, so local parents became increasingly aware that such schools offered an alternative education option for their children. Prior to the emergence of international schools, the only way for most children to access a Western education delivered in the English language was to board, away from their families, at an independent school overseas. “The experience of overseas boarding for a child at a young age, speaking a language and being part of a culture very different from their own, became recognised as very challenging,” says the report. “Personal experiences of this, in addition to negative stories in the press and social media, raised awareness of these challenges amongst parents who then looked for alternative solutions for international education. As a result, international schools in many countries where government legislation allowed, experienced a significant increase in admissions demand by some of the wealthiest of non-English-speaking parents with higher education and career aspirations for their children. The promise of learning in English and sitting globally recognised exams as a route to English-medium higher education, which offered the greatest access to global career potential, meant international schools became very appealing to many,” it explains.

26 EARCOS Triannual Journal

munity to learn from it. Not moulding the culture to you but moulding yourself to the culture.” One international school alumnus said: “International mindedness has always been an abstract concept to me, one that principals and directors liked to say and put in our school mission but never really embody or operationalise.”

As the economies of countries have improved, so this education movement, which ISC Research has tracked continuously over the past twenty years, gained momentum. Today there are now 12,459 international schools teaching 5.7 million children and young people. How the market has shifted As more families have searched for an international school education, so the market has diversified to meet their needs, broadening offerings and tuition fees, with international curricula growing in popularity. ISC Research data shows that approximately 56% of all international schools today are following international curricula and qualifications, with many promoting a more internationally-minded learning experience. Over the past five years, our data suggest this sector of the market has seen a 69% growth, compared to 54% for a British-oriented education, and 17% for a US-oriented education. Meeting the promise of an international education Many international schools of all types promote an international education offering as a way of attracting students. However, the learning experiences of some students and their expectations of what international education means to them, have resulted in the emergence of The Organisation to Decolonise International Schools (ODIS), a youth movement established by international school students, which is speaking out and taking action to promote change in the diversity and equity of international curricula and learning. Other organisations are supporting the actions of ODIS and this is raising the impact of the student voice to an extent that has not been experienced by the sector in the past. In many ways, the success of ODIS and other youth movements demonstrates the success of international school education. Students are drawing upon the many skills they have developed during their learning journey, including independent, critical and reflective thinking, and are challenging some elements from their school experiences. This has included questioning the meaning and validity of their learning of international mindedness. We explored this as part of our research for the report, investigating what international mindedness means to students and why it matters to them. Responses varied significantly and these are published in the report. One current international school student said that international mindedness is: “An awareness of cultures different than your own which translates into actions that respect and uphold those differing cultures. It includes understanding your place as an outsider (leads to respect) while also intentionally trying to adapt and become a part of the com-

Respondents were also asked to express their thoughts on how their school practiced international mindedness, along with their hopes for improvement. One current IB Diploma Programme student said: “I hope that my school will start to employ more teachers (in the senior school at least) of different backgrounds as the majority of them are from the UK…It can create small problems because we are learning from teachers that have similar values and beliefs.” An international school teacher said: “The school struggles to instil international mindedness because it does not have a strong and clear sense of what it could look like in this particular context and with our various stakeholders. A number of the adults involved (parents, admin, faculty, support staff) are not international minded themselves, so there is some important work to be done in raising awareness and educating the adults so that they can model, teach and support the development of internationalism in the students and the institutional culture.” And an IB Diploma Programme alumnus said: “Efforts should be more consistent in trying to increase international mindedness through the years and from a young age.” The qualitative research suggests a desire by students, alumni and some teachers to better understand the meaning of international mindedness. An understanding of international mindedness The report highlights that there is no one common definition of international mindedness and, although many schools adopt the International Baccalaureate’s definition of international mindedness, our research suggests that many use it loosely or interchangeably with such terms as ‘global mindedness’ and ‘cultural intelligence’ even though these terms have significant differences. For the report, we explored solutions that are accessible to schools to measure the development of international mindedness. Although some solutions for measuring cultural intelligence and global mindedness do exist, none are designed for children at various developmental stages, or for effective use within the classroom, and there is no common measurement for international mindedness. 100% of respondents in our research said that international mindedness had not knowingly been measured in their classrooms. The report concludes that international schools can provide the opportunity to bring diverse cultures together and to engage in conversations important to develop international mindedness. However, current measuring tools do not appear to be appropriate to assess the development of international mindedness in a classroom context, and there is no one common definition of international mindedness. The report calls for new solutions for schools to support the development of international mindedness. The free report from ISC Research is available to download here. (click here) About the Author Sam Fraser is Research Director at ISC Research which is the recognised source of data and intelligence on the world’s international schools market and supports schools, partners and investors with research to inform schools improvement, development and acquisition.

Winter 2022 Issue 27


Let Kids Play: A Case for Transgender Athlete Inclusion in International Schools By Emily Meadows, PhD CIS-affiliated LGBTQ+ Consultant

28 EARCOS Triannual Journal

It used to be, in major athletic federations, that athletes – women athletes – were required to walk nude in front of a panel of judges (usually men) to determine whether they were physically eligible to compete as women[1]. Thankfully, in the 50-ish years since then, it is now clear to most that this is an unnecessary and awfully invasive practice. Still, while gynecological examinations are no longer compulsory for women athletes in major international competitions (another antiquated practice), many sporting organizations are still searching for a biological formula to categorize “woman” as something distinct and measurable. Up until now, nobody has figured out how to do this. The reason we cannot measure womanhood is that sex and gender are complicated. Let us set aside the concept of gender for now, and focus just on the biological elements of the human sex. Sex characteristics are determined by a number of factors, including genitals, but also hormones and chromosomes. Athletic federations have tried using each of these criteria to determine the sex of participating athletes, but continue to run into the same barrier: namely, that genitals, hormones, and chromosomes all come in an assortment of options, none of which are binary, and all of which can be mixed and matched in such a way that there is no scientific possibility to categorize human beings into two distinct male/female boxes. Whichever way you slice it, if you try to draw a line around what it means to be a ‘biological woman’, someone will be left out.

But, even if we could ascertain some sort of biological formula for femininity, would we want to use it in schools? Let’s return to gender. Transgender is a term that describes a person whose gender identity (how they feel inside) differs from their sex assigned at birth (the gender they were assumed to be when they were born, usually based on external genitals). Transgender people are estimated to make up just under 1% of the general population[2], a proportion that is growing with each new generation[3], and is likely higher than reflected in the research because of the challenges in gathering such sensitive data. Trans youth tend to be less visible in areas that are more stigmatizing and dangerous for them[4], but the lives of transgender people have been documented around the world for hundreds of years[5]. Therefore, while you may not be aware of any openly transgender students where you work, chances are that at a school of 1,000 students, approximately 10 of them do - or will eventually – identify as trans. There are compelling reasons from a child protection perspective to pay particular attention to making learning spaces safe and inclusive for these transgender children, as there is significant evidence showing that they are amongst the most vulnerable students in our care. Indeed, the risk of suicide amongst transgender youth is consequential, with one recent study showing over half of transgender participants reporting that they had considered suicide within the past year[6]. In another recent, large study, almost all (95.5%) of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth reported suicide ideation at some point in their lives[7]. However, rates of suicidality decline significantly when trans children have access to gender-affirming schools. For example, mental health improves when gender-affirming names and pronouns are used[8], and when trans people have access to the bathrooms[9] and sports teams that match their gender identity[10].

Even aside from the worrisome statistics around suicide risks, trans kids face numerous additional daily hurdles simply by virtue of their gender identity. Trans students are far more likely, for example, to be harassed and bullied at school[11]. They rarely see themselves positively represented in the curriculum or amongst the role models at the school[12], they are at much greater risk of experiencing abuse at home, and even of becoming homeless because of their gender identity[13]. And – hardly surprising when considering this deck that’s stacked against them – transgender kids report higher rates of school absenteeism and declining school performance when compared with their cisgender peers[14]. To top it off, because of socially marginalizing contexts, transgender children are at much higher risk of anxiety, depression[15], disordered eating[16], substance use and abuse[17], and self-harm[18]. To then exclude these students from school sports because of a supposed biological advantage fails to see the whole child. Furthermore, it is not clear that transgender athletes even have a physical advantage over cisgender athletes. Trans people have been playing in professional, amateur, and school sports for many years, and cis athletes still win the disproportionate majority of competitions. Openly transgender athletes have been permitted to play in the Olympics since 2004[19], for example, and literally only two have qualified (Quinn shared a gold medal with their soccer team[20], and Lauren Hubbard came in last in her category for weightlifting[21]). In fact, arguably the most famous trans athlete is Chris Mosier, who competes in men’s running (debunking multiple myths about gender and biology in sports). We just have not seen, in school sports or otherwise, evidence that transgender athletes are making off with the trophies. Returning to the puzzle of verifying a student’s biological sex. This is a tricky business and an endeavour that can quickly become inappropriate and invasive. But, again, even if there was some easy way to measure sex, the harm of doing so, to out transgender students, would be so great to the student that I reckon many schools would Winter 2022 Issue 29

soon retire the practice. Instead, I advocate for schools and athletic conferences to adopt policies that include students based on gender identity.

tional predictors of suicide ideation, attempt, and risk in a large online sample of transgender and gender nonconforming youth and young adults. LGBT Health, 5(7).

This is easier said than done in some contexts, but it is worth working toward. Many countries in Asia already recognize transgender rights and protections, and even the most socially conservative tend to be far more flexible with children’s gender expression than with adults. The international shield of our schools offers an added layer of protection from potential backlash. Indeed, many of my clients are international schools in Asia that have already begun transitioning to transgender inclusion policies for their athletics departments; the trend is increasingly moving in this direction. The rights of transgender children alone are reason enough to make the effort, though certainly inclusion and equity are lessons that all young people can benefit from, and what better place to demonstrate these values than on a school sports team.


I realize that school sports can be serious business. But, surely most international schools do not promote athletics merely as an opportunity for students to experience winning. I’m thinking (hoping?) that teamwork, persistence, fitness, responsibility, stress relief, discipline, problem-solving, resilience, fun, belonging, and other rewards are why schools spend so many resources to ensure that students have access to these activities. Cut out the medical exams and hormone tests and let all kids play. About the Author Dr. Emily Meadows is a CIS-affiliated LGBTQ+ Consultant specializing in international school policy development and educator training. For support in building greater LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion at your school, please contact Emily at:

Russell, S. T., Pollitt, A. M., & Grossman, A. H. (2018). Chosen name use is linked to reduced depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior among transgender youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 63(4), 503-505. Hasenbush, A., Flores, A. R., & Herman, J. L. (2018). Gender identity nondiscrimination laws in public accommodations: A review of evidence regarding safety and privacy in public restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 16(70-83). [9]

Goldberg, S. K. (2021). Fair play: The importance of sports participation for transgender youth. Center for American Progress. [10]

Birket, M., Newcombe, M. E., & Mustanski, B. (2015). Does it get better? A longitudinal analysis of psychological distress and victimization in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(3), 280-285. [11]

GLSEN. (2017). The 2017 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. [12]

Ecker, J. (2016). Queer, young, and homeless: A review of the literature. Child & Youth Services, 37(4), 325-361. [13]

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2016). Out in the open: Education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Paris, France: UNESCO. [14]

Becerra-Culqui, T. A., Liu, Y., Nash, R., Cromwell, L., Flanders, W. D., Getahun, D., Giammettei, S. V…. & Goodman, M. (2018). Mental health of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth compared with their peers. Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-384. [15]

Peterson, C. M., Matthews, A., Copps-Smith, E., Conard, L. A. (2017). Suicidality, self-harm, and body dissatisfaction in transgender adolescents and emerging adults with gender dysphoria. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 47(4), 475-482. [16]


Elsas, L. J., et al. (2000). Gender verification of female athletes. Genetics in Medicine, 2(4), 249-254. [1]

Collin, L., Reisner, S. L., Tangpricha, V., & Goodman, M. (2016). Prevalence of transgender depends on the ‘case’ definition: A systematic review. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13(4), 613-626. [2]


Jones, J. M. (2021, February 24). LGBT identification rises to 5.6% in latest U.S. Estimate. Gallup.



Carroll, A. & Mendos, L. R. (2017). State-sponsored homophobia: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: Criminalization, protection, and recognition. International Lesbian and Gay Association. [4]

Beemyn, G. (2013). A Presence in the past: A Transgender historiography. Journal of Women’s History, 25(4), 113-121. [5]

Taliaferro, L. A., McMorris, B. J., Rider, N. G., Eisenberg, M. E. (2019). Risk and protective factors for self-harm in a population-based sample of transgender youth. Archives of Suicide Research, 23(2), 203-221. [6]


Kuper, L. E., Adams, N., & Mustanski, B. (2018). Exploring cross-sec-

30 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Kann L., Olsen E. O., McManus T., et al. (2016). Sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, and health-related behaviors among students in grades 9–12 — United States and selected sites, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, 65(9): 1–202. McManama O’Brien, K. H., Putney, J. M. Hebert, N. W., Falk, A. M., & Aguinaldo, L. D. (2016). Sexual and gender minority youth suicide: Understanding subgroup differences to inform interventions. LGBT Health, 3(4), 248–251. International Olympic Committee. (2004, May 18). IOC approves consensus with regard to athletes who have changed sex. [19]

Pruitt-Young, S. (2021, August 6). Canadian soccer player Quinn becomes the first out trans and nonbinary gold medalist. National Public Radio. [20]

Ellingsworth, J. & Ho, S. (2021, August 2). Transgender weightlifter Hubbard makes history at Olympics. The Associated Press. [21]

Not your ordinary insurance provider!


Group Health (SCHOLARS®) Offers claims concierge, worldwide cover (incl US), Large network of providers in 190+ countries, Insurance by Lloyd’s of London, claims administered by Cigna

Educators Legal Liability

Business Property

Group Life

Group Long-Term Disability

Student Travel Accident

Vehicle Fleet



Whether you are an administrator at an International School looking to protect your faculty, or a teacher struggling to find the right coverage abroad for both you and your family, Clements is here to help! Not only can we offer group solutions for your school, protecting both people and assets, but we also have individual products to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and their families abroad.

Personal Belongings





Learn more about all our solutions at


Taking Learning Out of Isolation By Rob Carmichel Head of Outdoor Education UWC Thailand International School

32 EARCOS Triannual Journal

A look at an innovative educational experience that goes beyond the walls of the classroom, across subjects, and even vertically to affect other grades. Rob Carmichel, Head of Outdoor Education at UWC Thailand, takes us through an inspiring unit that students from Grade 2 typically start their year with. The unit is based on the PYP unit of inquiry ‘Sharing the planet’. The focus of the unit is how finding solutions to conflict brings change. In this instance looking at conflict and relationships with nature. The learning is taken far beyond the classroom and is enhanced by collaboration with other subjects and pillars of the school including; Outdoor Education, Mindfulness, Service Learning, and Thai Language and Culture. The Students go on three hikes over the course of three weeks that aim to show different aspects of our relationship with the natural world.

Hike one - human impact on nature: A remote coastal trail that is exposed to the strong westerly currents washing all manner of trash onto what would otherwise be a pristine coastline. Students are asked to document their journey on ipads and make comic books about it later in the homeroom where they note their insights.

these young students and are uniquely documented in both digital and hand-drawn/written comics. This unit is furthered yet more by using Thai Language and Culture classes to discuss the vocabulary and ideas of what the topic of conflict means in this cultural setting, allowing greater connections to be made using this place-based pedagogical approach. For the final piece of this learning experience, students are asked to present their comic books to both Grade 6 and Grade 12 students. The Grade 6 students will take the information from the comic books and map out the areas with the most significant volume of trash using the navigation skills they have worked on in the previous weeks of their own Outdoor Education unit.

From both of these previous activities, the Grade 12 students will soon after organise a student-led trail clean as part of a school-wide service day.The information they have been given is used to prepare teams to tackle the trail clean more efficiently.

Hike two - nature working for us: A 5 km walk around a reservoir that supplies the local area with its drinking water. Students get to see, think, and discuss how we are reliant on nature for even the simplest of our necessities.

The result of such a learning journey serves to not only provide an enriching and immersive learning experience for the Grade 2 students but that they can see tangible action being taken as a result of their work, providing an early example of their ability to truly be changemakers!

Hike three - national park trek: An opportunity for students to consider the importance of protecting wild spaces, not only for our own enjoyment but for the benefit of other living things we share the world with.

About the Author Rob Carmichel is the Head of Outdoor Education at UWC Thailand. For more information about learning at UWC Thailand visit: www. and follow Rob Carmichel on LinkedIn.

During the course of these three hiking experiences, students are joined by the school’s head of mindfulness and asked to engage with their thoughts and feelings, and again later in class reflecting on the experience. Having the opportunity to pause and see how we feel in these spaces provides students with the opportunity to truly explore their thoughts and feelings can be quite powerful. During the reflections, there are always some incredible insights shared by Winter 2022 Issue 33


International School Manila: Our (online) Eco Schools Journey By ISM’s High School Sustainability Council Members: Isaac Yu-Hong Hsiao, Henry Edelman, Lara Marie Go, and Lindsay Rodgers

Biodiversity on ISM campus - Parrots Beak Photo by Henry Edelman

34 EARCOS Triannual Journal

As the late Gina Lopez, Filipino politician and environmentalist, once said,

“For me, the environment has always been about people.”

This is a belief we share at International School Manila (ISM), and where we have a long tradition of passionate students and teachers working together to educate and inspire our wider community to live more sustainably. Whilst our divisional sustainability councils have helped us make huge strides towards a more eco-friendly campus, we know we still have a long way to go. To help us do this, we started looking for globally recognised programmes to join back in 2019. After a lot of research and making our own criteria based on what ISM needed, we were able to narrow all the programs out there down to one: the Eco-Schools Programme, by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Shortly after we received approval for this, Covid-19 hit and the school had to move to distance learning in March 2020. Undaunted by the challenges that this posed, we pushed on with the programme and the High School’s Sustainability Council, Middle School’s Eco Council, and the newly founded Eco Warriors from Elementary School banded together and started our journey through the Eco Schools Programme’s seven steps towards our Green Flag Award. As Mrs. Pekin, Assistant Principal of Middle School, explains, “Having an external support framework and goal such as the Eco Schools accreditation programme has given us direction and purpose.” Thus far we have completed the first few steps, forming a dedicated Eco Schools Committee, as well as conducting an Environmental Review, and now we are well into the third step of the Action Plan. During the second step of conducting an Environmental Review, we evaluated ISM from the ten areas of focus within the Eco Schools Programme, and found that our school community could use the most work within the biodiversity, water, and waste management areas. The next step was getting to work on projects to improve in these three areas. “A challenge we were faced with was caring for our environment when we were not allowed outside,” said Ms. Anissa, Assistant Principal of Elementary School. “We got creative and brought the outside in, with pots and soil and gardening indoors!” The Eco Schools Committee met on Zoom monthly throughout quarantine to discuss projects, dividing into breakout rooms based on each of the three areas. “This is a student-driven project and watching each group of ES, MS or HS students host the monthly meetings is an honor and a privilege to witness,” said Mrs. Pekin. Over the course of these meetings, each group slowly managed to find creative ways to make progress on their area of focus, despite not being able to actually step foot on campus. As Ms. Anissa says, “Awareness and advocacy have been the driving forces of the program.”

(left) Biodiversity on campus - Philippine Pied Fantail. (right) Chalky Percher. Photo by Henry Edelman those only found in the Philippines. By getting creative and turning to digital options, we were able to photograph and identify species of plants and animals, and have been using iNaturalist, a citizen science platform, to catalog our findings. So far, we’ve found over 30 species, including the endemic Philippine Pied-Fantail bird, and are looking at ways to improve this further by adapting the flora on campus. We also have a team of students looking into conservation efforts to protect the Bearcat, a species native to the Philippines and ISM’s official mascot.

Ananya and the eco-tower she is trialling.

The Water group has been working on cultivating hydroponics, a project we someday hope can provide at least a portion of the community’s greens. Having repaired and retrofitted two hydroponic Eco towers by partnering with the Manila-based hydroponic company ‘GoodGreens’, we now have our first crop of salad greens growing in one tower on campus and another one that has been set up at the home of Ananya, the student who will be taking the lead on this project once we return to school. The team is also working on making these hydroponic towers accessible to all, and are creating a user-friendly manual for hydroponics. Finally, the Waste group has been focusing on the recycling of E-waste. They have found local organizations that can recycle or upcycle e-waste and are now planning for the collection stage with a view to providing working devices to our service partners and recycling the rest, preventing this waste from going to landfills. All three teams have been operating as efficiently as possible given the current circumstances, and although we hope to do more and more as restrictions ease, we are prepared to continue this ecojourney through whatever challenges, towards a more sustainable ISM, and to one day fly the Eco Schools Green Flag in recognition of this hard work.

The Biodiversity group first prioritized creating an inventory of all the species currently on campus, with a focus on endemic species, Winter 2022 Issue 35


The Housekeeper and the Professor (by Yoko Ogawa) By Carol Lai MYP Mathematics Teacher American International School Vietnam

How does memory affect identity formation? Do numbers influence our worldview? Is mathematics invented or discovered? Do human bonds change our perception of the future? Yoko Ogawa, a leading Japanese novelist, elegantly weaves the answers in her internationally well-received novel, Hakase no aishita sushiki (The Housekeeper and the Professor). The story begins in 1992 when the young housekeeper (the “I”) is employed by a widow, who seeks a suitable housekeeper for her brother-inlaw, a former professor of mathematics, after multiple failed attempts. The housekeeper soon realizes that the aging professor only can remember things for at most 80 minutes “as if he has a single, eighty-minute videotape inside his head, and when he records anything new, he has to record over the existing memories” (Ogawa, p.5). It has been the aftermath of his brain injury since 1975. Miraculously, the professor remembers everything before 1975, so he can still solve mathematical problems. These remaining mathematical memories have been sustaining him, as if they were “a source of comfort” (Ogawa, p.7). Initially, the housekeeper feels confused by the professor’s short-term memory and withdrawal from secular activities. He immerses himself into “thinking” of numbers and regards anyone interrupting his thinking “as rude as interrupting someone in the bathroom” (Ogawa, p.12). Gradually, the housekeeper becomes fascinated by the professor’s number-dominated worldview and starts bonding with him through thinking experiments. When the professor discovers that the housekeeper has a 10-year-old son, he insists on having the son (later nicknamed as “Root”) with the housekeeper after his school time. “Root” symbolizes the professor’s unconditional love for this young boy, as he states that “[t]he square root sign is a generous symbol, it gives shelter to all the numbers” (Ogawa, p. 27). Together, the three explore mathematical beauty, share the love for baseball, and create a sense of family. Although memory loss is not unfamiliar in fiction writing, Ogawa creatively presents how memory notes are utilized to construct mutual trust and tackle daily activities. Likewise, forming the self-identity of a fatherless boy through a stranger is not new, but Ogawa weaves the professor’s passion

36 EARCOS Triannual Journal

for sharing and Root’s growing curiosity in mathematics together, demonstrating how slowly mathematical discoveries mature—similar to human bonds. As the housekeeper and Root are guided by the professor to find mathematical solutions, the professor receives familial care and respect in return before his inevitable deterioration. Additionally, Ogawa interlaces the main storyline with personal stories of the two. Different from the professor’s self-isolation in his mathematical research and the house, the housekeeper manages to overcome her life struggles, as an independent fatherless daughter and then a resilient single mother. Such characterization encourages us to interpret the story through the feminist lens. As their personal stories unfold, Ogawa reveals how memories shape one’s identity and interpersonal bonds.The professor’s memory mechanism eventually becomes dysfunctional, but passing his mathematical insights dramatically change the future of this fatherless boy. Root’s later prospering in baseball and teaching middle school math showcase his transformation from a passionate young athlete to a mature educator. He succeeds the professor’s mathematical heritage. Meanwhile, Ogawa reminds us of the everydayness of mathematics, which makes this novel ideal for classroom engagement. Pedagogically, this novel inspires mathematics teachers to implement literary and societal elements in their classrooms, along with mathematical discussions. Post-reading discussion questions are carefully organized, touching on naming and identity, mathematics as a metaphor for sensemaking, the meaning of families, and contemporary Japanese culture. They manifest the pedagogical utility of this novel. Intriguing examples of numbers guide us to observe the bond among the three and how Root’s worldview expands. For example, the professor uses the “amicable numbers”—284 and 220 (the inscribed number on his watch, symbolizing his mathematical achievement, and the housekeeper’s birthday)—to illustrate their natural connection early on (Ogawa, p. 19). Later, Root applies the professor’s neat mathematical reasoning to finding a rare baseball card for the professor (Ogawa, pp. 154-164). He matures through internalizing the professor’s love for mathematics. Ogawa even uses baseball statistics to show mathematical practicality and Japanese pride in baseball. The legendary pitcher, Yutaka Enatsu, frequently appears in their conversations to evince the professor’s passion in baseball through merely studying numbers, the generational/ memory gap (the professor cannot remember players after Enatsu’s active years), and Root’s thoughtfulness in conversing with the professor. Furthermore, the professor has impressive mini-lectures on the philosophy of mathematics, suggesting that mathematics is both discovered and invented. For instance, the professor believes that “the truly correct proof is one that strikes a harmonious balance between strength and flexibility… it’s not something you can put into words—explaining why a formula is beautiful is like trying to explain why the stars are beautiful” (Ogawa, p. 16). The beauty of mathematical proofs depends on individual mathematicians’ tastes. Alternatively, these proofs seemingly exist to be discovered. Once their beauty is discovered, one can only be awed, not explaining why it is appealing.

Finally, specific dates are inserted to highlight important baseball events, blurring the boundary between fiction and reality. One can read the novel sociologically and wonder how mathematics is taught in Japanese schools. Are students given opportunities to discuss mathematics with adults, just like the three? Literarily speaking, the housekeeper’s lucid indication of past events contrasts her ability to trace everyone’s life trajectories (to preserve their identities) with the professor’s worsening memory loss. The novel ends hopefully after some bitter-sweet moments. It is a gem for exploring the interactions between mathematics, translated literature and Japan in the 1990s. About the Author

Ms. Carol Lai is a MYP mathematics teacher at the American International School Vietnam. She can be contacted at carol.

References (2020, May 27). Writer Ogawa Yōko’s Stories of Memory and Loss. Parr, B. (2009). Stephen Snyder talks about “The Diving Pool. Words Without Borders. stephen-snyder-talks-about-the-diving-pool Poole, S. (2009, May 2). Prime reading. The Guardian. Ogawa, Y. (2009). The Housekeeper and the Professor (S. Snyder, Trans.; 1st ed.). Picador. Overbye, D. (2009, February 27). Book Review | “The Housekeeper and the Professor,” by Yoko Ogawa. The New York Times. Wikipedia contributors. (2021, August 30). Yutaka Enatsu. Wikipedia.

We can also ponder how interdisciplinary mathematics is: “‘A problem has a rhythm of its own, just like a piece of music,’ […] ‘Once you get the rhythm, you get the sense of the problem as a whole, and you can see where the traps might be waiting’” (Ogawa, pp. 35-36). The professor accompanies the struggling Root to comprehend word problems with their innate patterns before solving. Furthermore, the professor teaches Root to see mathematics as a language: “every formula and every number has meaning, and you should treat them accordingly” (Ogawa, p. 37). Winter 2022 Issue 37


UNIS Hanoi English Teacher Writes Best Seller! By Akofa Wallace, Communications Manager, United Nations International School of Hanoi Laura England, a UNIS Hanoi MYP English teacher is receiving rave reviews from fellow educators and parents of IB students around the globe for her most recent book, “Skills for Success for the Personal Project”.

Laura England

Published by Hodder International Education back in August, the book is designed to equip Personal Project coordinators and IB teachers and parents with the skills to successfully guide students through the Personal Project experience.

A compulsory component of the Middle Years Programme, the Personal Project gives students the independence to explore any topic of interest. Over a period of months, students are encouraged to explore their topic through a cycle of inquiry, action, and reflection.

As a former IB MYP Coordinator and Personal Project Coordinator, Ms England was keen to write a book that shared tried-and-tested strategies aimed at engaging students in the learning process. And when Hodder International Education approached her and fellow IB educator, Angela Stancar Johnson, Ms England jumped at the chance.

“Skills for Success for the Personal Project” is the second book coauthored by Ms England regarding the Personal Project and her third book overall. When she’s not writing guides on teaching, Ms England dedicates herself to teaching MYP English to Middle School students at UNIS Hanoi.

“I co-wrote this book as a service to the IB community,” revealed Ms England. “Having worked in a big, independent school before, I know how


It’s an Inclusion Revolution and We’re All In By Lori Boll, Executive Director SENIA International What do you get when you bring together close to 2,300 educators, parents, and professionals from 55 countries who are dedicated to supporting and teaching ALL individuals? An “Inclusion Revolution!” The annual SENIA virtual conference was held from December 3rd-5th, 2021 and participants are continuing to learn from the pre-recorded content until April 2nd, 2022. With over 70 hours of presentations based on the theme “Learning Ecosystems: Supporting Inclusive School 38 EARCOS Triannual Journal

challenging it can be to support students and teachers in a way that helps them get the most out of the personal project experience.”

Tanzania, Finland, New Zealand, the U.S, and Argentina. Schools registered their entire staff to attend, including their custodial staff and office assistants, proving that many international schools are becoming more dedicated to serving all learners in a community. Our conference platform enabled members, no matter where they were joining from, to create a sense of community.

SENIA Malaysia.

“It’s trendy for schools to “inspire a lifelong love of learning.” That only comes from a position of open, inclusive, and welcoming dialogue. The conversations at the SENIA conference are living breathing models of how lifelong learning grows.”- Jon Springer, parent SENIA (Special Education Network and Inclusion Association) is a registered non-profit organization. We are a network of educators, parents, professionals, and students who advocate for and provide resources for differently abled individuals. SENIA’s vision is to live in an inclusive world where every individual is supported, resources are accessible, potential is maximized and action is inspired. SENIA had its humble beginnings in 2002 when founding board member Tanya Farrol and seven others in China decided to set up a network for special educators to raise awareness and advocate for individuals with disabilities as well as create a space to connect with other professionals in their field. Farrol shares, “SENIA still holds true to its original values by organizing yearly conferences and every year spreading the message of inclusion a little further than before. It is impressive that SENIA has come so far and now is able to connect and share its vision with over 2000 conference participants around the world. I am humbled to be part of the inclusion revolution!”

SENIA Shen Wai International School. Communities”, participants engaged in meaningful conversations and professional development in the following conference strands: Social Emotional Learning, Inclusive Practices, Math and Literacy Strategies, and Intensive Needs Programming. Keynote speakers Shelley Moore, LeDerick Horne, and Michelle Garcia Winner inspired all of us to “do better” when working with our students by creating authentic inclusive school communities. For many, the experience at the conference will change teaching practices and attitudes toward supporting learners of all abilities. As Jenni-Lee Moore of UNIS Hanoi tweeted, “Today I had the humbling joy of listening to @tweetsomemoore (Shelley Moore) speak at @seniaworldwide. I’m not sure my teaching will ever be the same. I’m not even sure I will. #inclusion.” SENIA awarded student Sasin Emmy Thamakaison with the annual student award and scholarship for her advocacy. Emmy has ADHD and has used her experiences to write a children’s book, JJ’s Squiggly Mind to bring awareness and advocate for more supports for individuals with ADHD. Emmy also took an active role in her high school’s inclusion club and helped run SENIA Youth. She is a true advocate. SENIA also provided 10 individuals with a free conference based on financial need. As an organization dedicated to inclusion, we want all members of our community who want to learn to be able to do so, whether they have the financial resources or not. We also offer a community scholarship for groups who wish to spread our mission to their local community. Our scholarship opportunities can be found on SENIA International’s website at Watch parties formed across the globe from China, to Monaco, Kiev,

SENIA has two exciting opportunities for individuals who want to learn more about inclusion and supporting all students; a certification program and an in-person conference coming up in the spring. The certificate program consists of a series of 6 courses aimed at beginning level learning support teachers or general education teachers who wish to learn more about supporting all learners. These courses will begin in February, 2022 and will have rolling enrollment. For more information on this coursework, please visit here or contact us at SENIA is sponsored by organizations who share our mission. It is due to their support and donations that we are able to provide scholarships and keep our conference costs low. While our virtual conference was exciting, we realize many people crave an in-person conference again. The first in-person conference since 2019 is planned for March 31-April 2, 2022. It will be held at Bonn International School and the theme is “All In! We All Have a Role to Play in Creating Inclusive Schools.” You can find more information at As SENIA approaches its 20th anniversary in 2022, we are proud of our history. and future opportunities for students, parents, professionals, and educators. Long gone are the days when inclusion at school could be seen as an afterthought. Today, schools are prioritizing inclusion and putting it at the forefront of their education programs and training. Join us in our inclusion revolution.

“We’re in an inclusion revolution, and we’re all in!”- Jay Lingo, Director of Marketing, SENIA International Winter 2022 Issue 39


Students and Educators Advocate for Women Despite Challenges in Afghanistan By Jennifer Henbest de Calvillo and Tomoka Matsushima Senri Osaka International School

EJAAD means innovation or creativity in Dari. We are an educational project spanning schools around the world. We are 4 years old and this year has had many developments and incredible challenges. Two of our teacher leaders met at the International School of Yangon (ISY) and after years and a love of art and culture, they connected at Osaka International School (OIS) with a sub teacher Mr. Abdul. He is a scholarship recipient who was getting his master’s degree in Economics at Osaka University. EJAAD grew from the desire of a small group of friends and student leaders connected across the globe to provide economic and educational opportunities for Afghan women. Our goal is to be student and educator leaders advocating for the rights of women to receive an education and earn an income.

tarian aid. The situation is dire. Originally, we provided opportunities to learn and sew in a safe discreet neighborhood to enrich the lives of our EJAAD artisans, who are restricted by social and cultural boundaries and currently by the terribly unclear situation in Kabul. We are partnering with Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) in Australia. We have built the brick façade of our two-storied building. Through the generosity of donors (we raised 35,000 USD) we help 26 women to reach for their aspirations, ultimately impacting their families where many have lost essential livelihoods and are now even food insecure. Part of advocating for our project is the work we do with students in schools. At Senri Osaka International School of Kwansei Gakuin (SOIS) and The KAUST School in Saudi Arabia we work with students in a service-learning capacity to create awareness. We have collaborated with schools in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, USA, and Sweden. It has been amazing to see that despite challenges with COVID, we were able to create positive change through the support of countless people & organizations like the local NPO TIFA (Toyonaka International Friendship Association). From students taking initiative selling baked goods and handmade crafts, raising awareness at local businesses and universities, to the parents who took interest and provided support though PTA donation dues, and through the small stand-up student fair; EJAAD has been able to find new methods to contribute and creatively serve. Hena (not her real name) spoke recently on Kansai TV about the situation women face and about the current needs of Humanitarian aid. EJAAD women are under untold pressure but through collaboration with students abroad these uneducated women stand as role models for those who stay and dare to learn, create, innovate and yearn to discreetly connect with the outside world. We feel the collaboration has been full of insights, perspective, and a meaningful exchange of learning across huge divides. Visit website Donate About the Authors Jennifer Henbest de Calvillo is an artist and teacher living in Japan. She hopes to be a role model for her students and help them see huge possibilities in the world. She feels art is always a connector. Art speaks to our commonality instead of our differences. Tomoka Matsushima is a student leader at Osaka International School.

Despite all the recent terrible turmoil and Taliban takeover we found a way to stay positive and make a difference. Originally, we crowdfunded for sewing equipment then funds to build the learning center in Kabul for women to meet safety. Now we are seeking donations for humani40 EARCOS Triannual Journal


Year 9 MYP 4 Design Camp Rakua Village, Beqa Island, Fiji International School Suva

By Tanya Legaz, MYP Design Teacher American International School of Vietnam 2021 brought about a change in focus for ISS (International School of Suva) camp program.The main goals were to make stronger links to the curriculum and Ocean Science program while continuing to strengthen community relationships. Having missed out on camps due to Covid-19 in 2020, our Year 9 students were fortunate to attend the first Design focus camp for 5 days at the end of March 2021. The location for the camp was Rakua village on Beqa Island (24 miles from Suva). Situated on the waters edge, and with the reintroduction of traditional boat building by villagers and coral-reef restoration, Rukua was an ideal location for this experiential learning experience. Having been significantly affected by Covid-19 and climate change, the elders of Beqa Island have sought to find alternative methods of transport and income. Looking to replace expensive motorized fiberglass boats with more sustainable options, islanders have looked to their roots to revitalize traditional boat building techniques amongst new generations of Fijians. Each village on Beqa Island has a working Na Drua (double hulled sailing boat) that was built by a team of local boat builders, encouraging others to start learning the art form. This was the backdrop for a community-based MYP Design learning adventure! Getting to the island was the start of the adventure for many students. While some caught the bus and fast ferry, others decided to sail from Suva either by 40ft catamaran or 38ft monohull. Students were immediately immersed in the learning experience, taking turns to helm, hoist sails and set anchor. After settling into billeted accommodation, students took part in the traditional Sevusevu welcome by village elders. The goal was for students to complete 3 main activities across the week. The first was observing and assisting the traditional boat builders working on a Na Drua, the second was learning to rig and sail a traditional Na Drua and then learn to sail a modern optimist. Finally, they completed the design component by applying skills learnt and developed in the classroom to build a scale model prototype of the traditional Na Drua. All teams started out with the same base model but after observing the boat builders and being on a sailboat, students could modify their boat designs as they chose to. The boat building makerspace while basic had million-dollar views across a picturesque lagoon and spectacular reef, meaning any break times students could dip into the ocean, snorkel the reef or have a go on an Optimist. For many of our students trying something new (such as paddle boarding or sailing) was the highlight of their week. The design and creating aspect of the week culminated in testing the prototypes out on the water with a ‘race’. Evaluating the success of your product becomes very clear when it comes to designing boats, it either sinks or floats and moves! Although there were strong curriculum links throughout the camp, students also enjoyed authentic Fijian village life. Church service, visiting the school, hiking to waterfall, enjoying communal meals with hosts and forming close relationships with other children on the island.

Makerspace with a view.

Sailing to camp on a modern yacht. From student and staff reflection, the main successes included the opportunity for students to complete a hands-on project within a couple of days and immersed in context and the relationships built within the community. Some comments from students were that this project would have taken 9 weeks if completed within a normal classroom! It also provided a starter to our next Design Unit – Future of transport for an island nation - looking at innovation and sustainability. Students went into the unit with a strong understanding of the problems, islanders face and could start thinking of solutions. Giving students learning experiences outside of the classroom, in a natural environment and participating in real life situations seemed like a golden opportunity to foster empathy, develop greater creative thinking and have fun creating life-long memories! About the Author Tanya Legaz is a MYP Design Teacher at American International School of Vietnam. She can be contacted at

Winter 2022 Issue 41

Remembering Connie Buford Connie Buford b. April 14, 1944 – d. January 5, 2022 Constance Wall Buford, 77, passed away peacefully at her home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico surrounded in love and a room full of flowers as beautiful and vivacious as her enduring spirit. She died of complications related to Leukemia. For five years she also lived with Alzheimer’s. These illnesses affected her body and mind, but did not dampen her incredibly positive spirit and infectious optimism which she radiated, spread to others, and for which she will always be remembered. During a remarkable life, Connie lived out one of her favorite teachings: “There are two things we should give our children: one is roots and one is wings.” To her own family and the countless others she knew in her life and career, she sought to pass on both. Hers was an uncommon power to connect with people on an authentic and genuine level, and in doing so she changed countless lives and inspired many to soar. With an insatiable curiosity and love for people, Connie knew no stranger, befriended practically everyone, and always saw the best in all those she met. She was intentionally happy and respectful to all. Proud of her family and upbringing in Beaufort, South Carolina, she always stayed true to herself and celebrated her roots. Her charming Southern accent never wavered either; miraculously, it seemed to gain strength as she ventured further from home. Of her many influences, she always spoke admiringly of her parents, Mama and Papa Wall, and her siblings, Bucky, Duncan and Nippie. Her family embodied values such as community, service, humor, empathy, and indiscriminate love, all of which she carried forth in her life and encouraged others to do the same. After her father retired from the Marines, her parents ran Bay Florist, a family affair that became a beehive of activity in downtown Beaufort. For the rest of her life, much like a florist, Connie shared joy and brightened spirits. She may very well have been a tulip in disguise. Connie coveted family and friendships. She gained strength in them and worked hard to build meaningful personal and professional relationships. Affectionately known as “Dobbie” (a derivative of doll baby) by her immediate family and “Our Connie” by fellow educators, her family and friends, in turn, doted on and cherished her. “Parents and educators have the awesome responsibility for shaping the values that our children and students will carry with them forever,” Connie once wrote as the foundation for why she chose a career in education, calling it an “awesome responsibility we grownups have.” In a career spanning more than 45 years she thrived professionally through a number of fulfilling and fascinating “dream” jobs. 42 EARCOS Triannual Journal

After graduating in 1965 from the University of South Carolina (USC), she became a French teacher. Ambitious for broader responsibilities and greater social impact, she earned a PhD degree from the University of North Carolina in 1977. Although her early focus was on local school improvement and statewide school desegregation, her attention turned global when exposed to international schools through partnerships and teacher professional development in her work with Richland County School District and then the USC School of Education. These opportunities planted a seed that would blossom into an illustrious career in international education. In 1988, Connie moved with her two children to Nairobi, Kenya where she assumed the role of middle school principal at the International School of Kenya, which she held for two years, and the executive director of the Association of International Schools of Africa (AISA), which she held for nine years. She sought to change the lives of her own children - and scores of other students and fellow educators - by introducing them to a bigger world and exposing them to the amazing things happening in international schools. Working for AISA was, in her words, “one of the best jobs in the world.” Through this work, she fostered connections and strengthened networks that resulted in individual success and improved learning and teaching for entire schools. She promoted cross-cultural learning, student community service and teacher exchange, and advanced educational opportunities for a wide range of families and educators globally. A true master at hosting and attending conferences, she absolutely loved parties, her laughter and positive energy reverberating around the room. Her door prizes became stuff of legend! She was a proud and active member of numerous international education professional associations and a frequent speaker and conference attendee all over the world (yet another chance to show her family the world and partake in door prizes). A highlight was the chance to teach over many summers with the Principal Training Center (PTC) and board service with the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), and The International Educator (TIE). She treasured her many mentors and colleagues. In 1995, AAIE honored Connie with induction into its Hall of Fame and in 1997 she was invited to deliver the “Distinguished Overseas Lecture,” in which she shared important values and attitudes in international education. Schools, she believed, should help “successful people of the future become more than masters of academics, also teaching them to be tolerant, adaptable, problem-solvers who feel responsible for the world and for their fellow citizens.” To educators, she said, “you have

a great responsibility to students, to be role models, and that includes being healthy, positive, being in control, and most importantly, knowing how to have fun and enjoy yourselves.” After ASIA, Connie worked for Pearson Education and with Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoot Program then landed her second “dream job,” joining the United States Department of State as a Regional Education Officer for the Office of Overseas Schools until her retirement in 2015. In retirement, she and her devoted husband and partner for over twenty years, Charlie Gallie, lived with their beloved dog Cotton in Delray Beach, Florida, Durham, North Carolina, and, most recently, in Puerto Vallarta, where they enjoyed long walks and making new friends at coffee shops. Nearly annually they made sojourns to Lake Kezar in western Maine and Lowcountry South Carolina and enjoyed periodic visits with grandchildren in Virginia and Montana.

Connie was predeceased by her mother and father, Mary Jenkins Wall and William Oliver Wall, and her sister, Martha Fulford (Nippie) Wall. She is survived by her husband Charlie; sister Duncan Wall and brother Bucky Wall and wife, Jean; son Warren Buford and wife, Ashley; daughter, Mary French and husband, Brian; and grandchildren Maxwell, James, Mia and Susannah. Her family wishes to thank a wonderful team of caregivers and nurses for their devotion. Always an inspiration, a colorful spark of joy, Connie will be missed dearly; her love and laughter and values will be a light that shines aglow forever. Additional information regarding a Celebration of Life service near her birthday in April will be forthcoming.

Preparing for the future: Using curiosity and creativity to boost confidence in maths in 2022 The global pandemic has impacted schools and teachers around the world, requiring both professionals and pupils to learn and adapt, and often to adopt new technology and introduce remote learning. Oxford University Press supports people wherever and however they want to learn, so we wanted to know more about the specifics of the pandemic’s impact on teaching and learning, and to understand what methods would best support pupils to realise their full potential in this new world and beyond. We understand that many schools have identified maths as an area for development, so we asked a global cohort of maths teachers, principals, heads of departments, exam officers, senior management teams and more, what they thought the lasting impacts of COVID-19 and remote learning would be on today’s and future maths learners. Our findings included: • • •

84% of maths practitioners had to change the way they taught maths to support remote learning 78% of respondents said that remote learning had an impact on student confidence in maths 95% of teachers said that promoting curiosity and enjoyment in maths should be a priority.

The whitepaper: Preparing for the Future Working in collaboration with these teachers and global education specialists over the last 12 months, we’ve examined the findings and explored the teaching and learning methods that offer students the best opportunity to realise their full potential in maths. In the whitepaper we summarise our findings, alongside practical solutions and top tips for today’s teachers, to prepare for whatever the future holds: •

Discover the results of our international educator survey, focusing on the impacts of remote learning, COVID-19 school closures, and current teaching priorities for maths. Learn which pedagogical approaches are most impactful for building student confidence and enjoyment in maths, while utilizing growth mindset, digital resources, manipulatives and more. Find practical ideas and top tips from experts, to start using in your lessons or school right away.

Submit your details to access the paper here: Access the whitepaper (click here) Learn more: We’re looking to work with teachers and schools to create more maths content in early 2022. If you’re interested to contribute, please email

Winter 2022 Issue 43

Middle School Art Celebration

Dominican International School “Christmas Angel” (left) Mixed media using markers, coloring pencils, tempera disks and acrylic paint. Evan Liu, Grade 3 “Nativity” (right) Watercolor Inspired by glass artwork from the Middle Ages. Vivian Lee, Grade 5

International Christian School Kyra Lam, Grade 7 Watercolor

Moses Li, Grade 7 Watercolor

Brent International School Baguio “Portrait Of An Actress” Graphite pencil on paper (9 x 11 inches) Luven Margaret Pescador, Grade 8 “Full Moon” Watercolor on paper (9 x 11 inches) Marian Catherine Cascato, Grade 8

44 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Concordia International School Hanoi Han Bui, Grade 7 (above left) Sako Iwashiro, Grade 7 (above right)

Nanjing International School “Problems” Erin, Grade 7

Nanjing International School “Cut Your Straps” Rachel, Grade 10

Submit an Article to The EARCOS Journal We invite you to share the great things going on at your school with the other schools in the EARCOS region. Deadline for the following ET Journal Issues Fall Issue - September 1, 2022 Spring Issue - April 1, 2022 Winter Issue - December 1, 2022

What can be Contributed?

Here are some of the features in the next issue: Faces of EARCOS – Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Campus Development – New building plans, under construction, just completed. Curriculum Initiatives – New and exciting adoption efforts, and creative teacher ideas. Green and Sustainable – Related to campus development and/or curriculum.

Service Learning Projects Action Research Reports - Summaries of approved action research projects Student Art – We will highlight ES art in Fall issue, MS art in Winter issue, and HS art in Spring issue. Student Writing – Original short stories, poetry, scholarly writing.

Article Integrity

We want to make sure submitted articles are not in violation of copyright laws. We highly encourage original articles. When you send an articles to our ET Journal, we will make sure you get the proper credit by displaying your name, title, school, and email in the article. If you would like to submit an article please email Bill Oldread at OR at

Winter 2022 Issue 45

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.